Sonic Mania vs Sonic Advance

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by sonictopfan, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. sonictopfan


    Since my post was trashed, I hope it’s alright to make a specific thread for it here, this is a topic I always wanted to discuss and my goal is to have a civilized discussion not to trash one or the other, I’ll try to be fair for both games.

    So ever since the announcement of Sonic Mania I was very skeptical about certain issues (which sadly most of which turned out true) on one hand we have Sonic Advance made by Dimps and published by SEGA in 2001 which tried to emulate the Genesis game style, and on the other hand we have Sonic Mania developped by Christian Whitehead and published by SEGA which also tried to emulate the Genesis game style, while I think both have their merits, certain aspects just bother me about Sonic Mania, things that Sonic Advance got right, here’s a list:

    -Emulating the Genesis gameplay:
    While both games succeeded in emulating the Genesis physics, Sonic Advance gets one extra point for a tiny detail that may seem like a nitpick but believe me it can be a life savor, that is the way rings behave when getting hit, you see in the Genesis games if you’re down to one ring and then get hit that ring will always bounce to the left side, this is important since most of the time you run towards the right side of the screen and this gives you enough time to quickly grab the ring, this is especially useful on boss fights, Sonic Mania however makes it pure random, so your last ring can either bounce to the left side or the right side, making it harder to survive in boss fights.

    -Adding new moves:
    Sonic Mania introduced a new move for Sonic, the drop dash, you may think is very useful, but you may also say it’s just another spindash, either way it’s still a welcome addition, it also brings back the insta-shield from Sonic 3 and the super pealout from Sonic CD, sadly though you can only pick one or the other (still confused to why), do keep in mind that much like Sonic 3 once you have a shield you instead get the ability associated with it, niether Tails nor Knuckles get any new moves sadly.
    Sonic Advance on the other hand gives Sonic not only the insta-shield but also the jump dash (great for speedruns) and the slide (useful to get up slopes) however both Tails and Knuckles also get new moves, with Tails getting the tail attack (which I admit is useless) and Knuckles the punch attack (again not really useful but can still help going up slopes) and most importantly he can float on the surface of water, this new move makes certain areas much easier and is a good way for shortcuts.

    -Adding a new character:
    Since the first game in the franchise it’s been a tradition to add a new character in the sequel, Sonic 2 adds Tails, Sonic 3 adds Knuckles, and Sonic Advance 1&2 add Amy and Cream respectfully, Amy was unique as she adds the extra challenge of not being able to curl so you had to rely on her hammer to attack enemies, also since she can’t spindash you had to build momentum, reverting back to the original Sonic The Hedgehog.
    In Sonic Mania however we go back to Sonic/Tails/Knuckles, not even Amy is playable, now you could get Ray and Mighty but you had to pay for them, Ray is cool, he can glide in the air similar to Mario’s cap from Mario 64, however Mighty I just don’t like.

    -New content:
    While Sonic Mania adds four new zones, the rest of the game is basically copy/pasted from previous Sonic titles, even blue sphere levels, Sonic Advance however made completely new levels, even some new troops like Secret Base, even though both games technically have Angel Island only one is completely new and that is the one in Sonic Advance.

    -New art:
    Sonic Advance made all new art, similar to New Super Mario Bros. they used the post-Adventure designs alongside borrowing some of their abilities too, Sonic Mania uses art style that is very similar to those of the Genesis, with backgrounds being copied strait from the Genesis games, I may be bias here but I prefer the art style used in Sonic Advance (plus I prefer Sonic’s S3 design over S2 and Mania decided to go with S2 for some reason), also it bothers me that Knuckles glides underwater in Sonic Mania, I thought that was an oversight in Sonic 3, either way Sonic Advance gets an extra point for making a swimming animation for Knuckles.

    Now, I will say that Sonic Mania is generally longer and rewards you with Super Sonic in levels upon collecting the chaos emeralds, but I’m afraid that’s all the positives I can think of regarding Sonic Mania, I guess the return of elemental shields but they didn’t even bring any new ones.

    What do you guys think? Please discuss below.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  2. FollOw


    Show me da wae Oldbie
    My own music, ask me about it
    I'll grab some popcorn....
  3. Yoritoshi


    São Paulo
    Cosmic Boll
    I feel it is an overexaggeration to call Mania a near complete rehash of Genesis games when every second act of the old zones have drastically different level design with a new background. It doesn't try to emulate the old games so much as attempts to match the rose-tinted vision we have of them, unlike how Sonic 4-1 attempted to mix it with a Rush-like sense of design only to ended up controlling badly and feeling like plastic despite also having worthwhile new stage mechanics in its "copy-pasted" zones. Although I love the Insta-Shield, the Drop Dash is really an ingenious move because it introduces continuous boosting to retro-Sonic while still emphasizing his rolling ability and still using a single acrion key.

    Advance 1 is fine too, of course. It expanded on Sonic Pocket Adventure's ideas, had good controls and had a level design sense like Sonic 2, and wasn't bottomless pit hell just yet. Played it enough back in the day that I can claim credit for discovering a glitch or two. Amy felt like a worthwhile addition with useful tricks of her own to figure out, and I hated the generally negative reaction people had to her gameplay and how generic she became in the sequel. One little thing I liked was how the Spin Dash could be instantly charged by double-tapping the jump button -- which some dexterity to pull off repeatedly without jumping by accident.
  4. Super Egg

    Super Egg

    Master of MS Paint. Member
    Tomball, TEXAS
    Sonic 2 beta 3 hoax
    Homie, you lost your point when you said Sonic 3's Sonic's art is better than Sonic 2's. Fat Sonic is ugly as sin, and you should feel ashamed.
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  5. TL;DR: I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. Mania is the better game from a technical and general game design standpoint, imo, but I really appreciate a lot of the things the Advance trilogy did.

    Wall of text incoming:

    In terms of gameplay and game design, I think Mania is better overall. It does a better job at emulating the Genesis/Mega Drive era games than Advance 1 does, and Advance 2 and 3 are mostly trying to be their own things, more or less. Mania also has better Special Stages, and they're not nearly as painful to access. Though, I will say neither games had particularly great boss battles, imo. Other than the Metal Sonic fight, the Titanic Monarch boss, and the Phantom King boss, I didn't really care much for any of the other boss battles in Mania. The Advance trilogy had a small handful of cool bosses like Mecha Knuckles in Advance 1, and basically all the final bosses and true final bosses. Teaming up with Eggman in Advance 3's final boss was pretty cool.

    For new moves, tbh, I didn't really use the abilities in Advance 1 and 2 that much. They were just kind of there. Advance 3 is where new moves really shined, I think. Experimenting with different combinations of characters gave you different moves, and I thought that was pretty neat. Pairing Knuckles with Amy would let him spin dash off of walls, for example. Mania doesn't add many new abilities, since you just swap out the insta-shield/Double Spin attack for the Drop Dash for Sonic, and Tails and Knuckles are more or less the same. I can appreciate the improvements made to the Sonic and Tails team up, as it's easier to have them fly together now. Ray's flying ability is pretty cool too, and is useful for skipping certain sections of the game's stages. Mighty in Mania and Cream in Advance 2 and 3 are basically easy mode, though, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing (though Cream's Chao Attack is waaaaaaaay more OP than Mighty's resistance to spikes and projectiles; she can trash any boss in those games with no effort), as it serves as an option for newcomers. Mania also has Super Forms for every character, so that's a big plus in my book; while the Advance games only let you play as Super Sonic, and only during the true final boss fights in each game.

    For new content, Mania does revisit a bunch of old levels, but I can at least give the game some points for trying to make the old levels feel 'new' again by changing the layout, touching up the visuals, and adding new gimmicks and bosses that weren't there before, and the 4 new zones that were added are pretty cool (though I feel Press Garden looks a bit out of place with the rest of the game, aesthetically, and Titanic Monarch drags on for too long, imo). Studiopolis and Mirage Saloon in particular were really great levels, and I enjoyed all the love and creativity that went into them. That said, I do like the look of the levels in the Advance trilogy. Advance 1's Neo Green Hill being a Green Hill/Emerald Coast hybrid that transitions to a city area is pretty nice, Secret Base, Casino Paradise, and Angel Island were pretty cool, and racing against the clock in Egg Rocket Zone was pretty intense. Then you have Music Plant, Techno Base, Toy Kingdom, Cyber Track, etc. that are all pretty unique and are tropes the series doesn't tap into very often. I just wished they had better level design to back them up.

    'New' Characters: Advance has Amy (it's her first time being playable in a 2D platforming Sonic game, anyway) and Cream and Cheese, while Mania brings back Mighty and Ray (and also technically Fang, Bean, and Bark, even though they're not playable). It's interesting how both teams approached these characters and made them handle differently from Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Amy is particularly unique in Advance 1, where she plays almost completely differently from the others, and can't even Spin Jump or Spin Dash, making her essentially the game's 'hard mode', in a sense. That said, neither really add a whole lot to their respective games, but they're fun additions, regardless.

    New art: Both games use pretty much all new art, but this one really comes down to a matter of preference. Mania's sprite artwork is pretty nice, as it blends together the look of the Sonic 1/2/CD style with 3K and a bit of Chaotix mixed in; the animations are nice and smooth with some extra personality added to the Genesis/Mega Drive style; the Advance art style is very bright and pops more, I think, and I really enjoy all the little animations and details that were put into the characters' sprites. I also really liked how idle animations for characters could change depending on the characters that are paired up in Advance 3, and I really wish more 3D Sonic games would have as much love and care put into them the way Mania and the Advance games do.

    So yeah, I like both games, and I wish Sonic Team would take a serious look at those games' strengths, along with the strengths of previous games like the Adventure series going forward to make a good 3D game, though I'd be down for a Mania sequel/successor, as long as we get more original stages and music in it. Then when an official soundtrack drops, we won't have themes from certain levels omitted from official releases. Still kinda miffed that the Advance trilogy never got a soundtrack release, tbh. They had some pretty catchy tunes too.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  6. BinBowie


    袋鼠鉴定家 Member
    Pixel Art and Music for various projects
    The Advance games' physics barely play like the ones from the Genesis/classic games' in my experience, especially with how janky the first Sonic Advance plays.
  7. Sonic Advance has always felt heavy to me. I don't know what it is, but the characters have this weird weight to them. Don't get me wrong! I love the way Advance 1 handles and am very fond of it as a whole (I've probably put more hours into it than I reasonably should), but surely I'm not the only one who's noticed this. Advance 2 probably has the best physics out of the three (if were comparing them for what they are, and not how they weren't the "real" Sonic 4), and Advance 3 feels really slippery. I can definitely say that Mania tops them all when it comes to good physics, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the way Advance handles at all (Advance is the only game where I really feel the centrifugal force going around loops).
  8. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Improving my art and studying Japanese
    While I still think Sonic Mania is the superior game, I think Sonic Advance (the first one) doesn't get enough love in the fanbase.
    As Yoritoshi said, Dimps didn't go full Dimps in this game so we have very few bottomless pits and speed boosters. Level design is generally great (though the later levels do get a bit dickish), and I still think the game got the best sprites for Sonic and co., even after Mania.
    Putting the Adventure character design in 2D sounds like a terrible idea on paper, but they fucking nailed it. Almost 20 years later and these sprites are still amazing and full of personality.
    Dimps would later screw it up with Advance 2 and 3 (Especially 3, my lord) but I think the first Advance game is still an amazing attempt to bring back 2D Sonic and is often ignored in favor of its Megadrive siblings.

    My top 3 2D Sonic game would be something like Mania>3&K>Advance. I really think the game is that good. If by any chance someone reading this post hasn't played it because "MUH DIMPS", give it a try and I assure you, you won't be disappointed.

    We gonna have to agree to disagree here, Sonic in 3 looks dope as fuck :V
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  9. DigitalDuck


    Arriving four years late. Member
    Lincs, UK
    TurBoa, S1RL
    I'll go through point-for-point with what I agree/disagree with:

    I'd argue this is an improvement. If anything, I'd go further and say Sonic 4 did this best - when losing a ring, it bounces further and further each time. Rings falling in exactly the same way each time looks artificial, and always being able to collect the ring means you essentially have infinite health.

    Completely agree with this. Sonic's jump dash and Knuckles' swimming mechanics were great in Advance, and felt like they fit well with the classic gameplay (it wasn't so much the modern homing attack as a slight increase in speed). Mania feels like a step back in that regard.

    Amy would've been nice, and Mighty plays more like Sonic easy mode, but I think Ray is great fun and definitely fits the bill.

    Somewhat agree, but a lot of levels have massive deviations in level design and mechanics which make them feel a lot newer.

    Definitely disagree with this, the art style in Mania is much better.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  10. I've always loved the art in Advance, especially with it being very distinct from the progression of the Genesis titles. Back around the release of Advance it was my second favorite sprite style, after 3K. I discovered Chaotix only after that, which I rank above both. Mania follows the progression of 3K to Chaotix, and thus rightly sits at the number one spot in the aesthetics department now.

    Mechanically, the first Advance in particular was quite faithful to the Genesis series. It felt slightly slower, and was restrained by the smaller screen size, but was still always a blast. Mania feels faster, which is an obvious plus.

    Advance had fun stages, but Mania takes the cake there. (Press Garden alone wins it.)

    In both Advance and Mania, every character is unique and enjoyable to play. While I do love playing as Mighty, I tend to avoid Ray. Advance has the advantage in my eyes here thanks to Amy. Gotta love taking in the sights and smashing everything with the Piko-piko.

    If I were forced to pick just one to play, it would be Mania. Even if I'd sorely miss having the choice of Amy.

    One final bit: Advance came out after a severe drought in the 2D Sonic sphere (2002, with only Chaotix before in 1995.) After slightly declining with each entry, but never falling into mediocre territory, the series was again revitalized with Rush in 2005. There were okay 2D entries after that, but nothing remarkable in my book, until Mania in 2017. Here's to hoping we don't have to wait another decade or so for another 2D gem.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  11. Sparks


    Sondro Gomez / Kyle & Lucy
    I'm sorry but if your argument against Sonic Mania includes "the rest of the game is basically copy/pasted from previous Sonic titles" then I have zero reason to give you any credibility, when you've clearly failed to research your topic, and do a complete disservice to the Mania developers. Maybe you should actually analyze the artwork and how everything had to be re-shaded, and how the levels layouts were not only re-constructed from scratch but also re-arranged into fresh and new arrangements, with the only exception being maybe Hydrocity Act 2. You can't sit there with a straight face and say levels like Chemical Plant, Flying Battery, and Metallic Madness are "copy/pasted" from previous Sonic titles. Nothing in Sonic Mania is "copy/pasted." Everything had to be re-shaded, everything had to be given more fluid animation. I reiterate, all you're doing is spitting on and trivializing the work of people from this community who worked hard to bring Sonic Mania to life.

    I'm gonna be honest, I think the entire foundation of your argument stems from a vendetta against Sonic Mania, and isn't an actually sound beyond your own personal taste.
  12. ICEknight


    Researcher Researcher

    Implementing this in any upcoming Classic games would fix something that's been broken since Sonic 1 (can't believe I'm saying that Dimps actually fixed something).
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  13. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    I saw his snarky attitude in the movie thread. You are absolutely right. Advance was good for sure, but Mania blows it out of the water.
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    There was a perfectly good Sonic Mania topic - writing an essay is better than firebombing your local church or whatever, but do we need more topics that just say "I think this game is good/bad"? Kinda detracts from the news and research - the stuff that's interesting.

    Nobody can really be blamed I guess when the forum is called "'General Sonic Discussion" but eehhh
  15. If it was constructed as simply bashing Mania, then it'd be best suited for the mega-thread imo. I thought the twist of comparing it to Advance was unique enough, as that was the triumphant resurgence of 2D Sonic (barring the Gamegear/NeoGeo playstyle), and Mania was the second triumphant resurgence.

    I don't mean to bash on the entries post-Rush, but they didn't offer up anything special. Rush Adventure was a step down, and everything else were ports of 3D titles. Often enough they were superior to their 3D namesakes, but still lacking the spirit of the Genesis games. Just my two cents no one asked for.
  16. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Improving my art and studying Japanese
    I think since Advance was the closest we got to a Megadrive 2D Sonic experience until Mania, the comparison is interesting and really wasn't done that much before. And any thread where we can say good stuff about Advance is good in my book.

    As you said yourself, this is a "'General Sonic Discussion" forum. I know you like your research and scans (and I enjoy reading trough the stuff you dig up), but there's nothing wrong with taking things casually every once in awhile. Or you could just ignore this topic altogether if you really don't care for it.
  17. Powpuck


    And here I thought everyone here was cognizant of Advance's insta-shield being so very majorly downgraded. It just extends his hit radius a bit, and is also slower. I'd rather he didn't have it in that game so people couldn't sell that canard.
  18. SystemsReady


    I Have No Idea What I'm Doing At Any Given Moment Member
    The Twin Cities
    trying to not fall asleep while writing Selenium tests
    Mania is better than Advance on the basis on having far fewer bottomless pits and cheap deaths. Its special stages are easier to access and also control far better than any of Advance's (I gave up in Advance 1's because the controls are SO STIFF and I found them physically painful to attempt even in emulation with an actual controller).

    Its art and themes are better too. I like...remember that Advance 1 and Advance 2 both have ice levels, but I can't tell you what the differences between them are. Same with Advance 1 and 2's ruins levels. Angel Island also shows up in 3 as well, as another ruins stage that looks like the ones in 1 and 2. Mania at least has the excuse of explicitly being a tribute title, and an in-game explanation for the reuse to boot, and the reuses are explicitly previous zones instead of "whoop here is Ice Paradise, hope you liked Ice Mountain from the previous game. totally different I promise."

    The moves for the characters are also not particularly useful either. Tails and Knuckles' movesets exist solely to help you find special stages and the attack moves make no sense in games where enemies die in one hit by jumping or rolling. Amy had the most utility and also, in the first game, shows glaringly how bad the game's level layouts are, by utterly trivializing them with her slowness (which means she controls better for platforming and for catching yourself before a platform falls and throws you into a pit) and increased jump height.

    Also I have to emphasize the cheap deaths, especially in 2 and 3, and ESPECIALLY 3. And 3 also gives you a ton of rings solely because the game throws so many hazards and enemies in your path that you need them. I played it last year and it legitimately took me til act 3 to get a hundred rings for an extra life, because I kept losing them due to cheap shit.

    Mania has its problems (like how freaking long some of them are) but they're mitigated by how the game plays well and how the layouts are mostly really good.
  19. Powpuck


    P.S. elemental barriers were and are a far more fulfilling means of interaction than any extraneous moves and superfluous characters. Tails, Knuckles and Amy are important, but they don't connect you to Sonic and his world in the same intrinsically video game way nor to the same extent.

    Moreover the air dash is to the fire barrier what the homing attack is to the golden shield; yeah, I said it.
  20. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

    Working on my art!
    Yea gotta say Mania wins. Advance was cool, don't get me wrong. It was fun, Amy was a neat addition but I never really felt like her gameplay fit (it was too different to the point where it didn't make a lot of sense). But overall Mania is just better imo. The art, the feel, the style, the characters. Now to be fair, Knuckles swimming in Advance was cool. That'd have been a nice feature. Same with the ring loss thing. But don't say the art is the same it's absolutely not. Yes it takes the remake route but they redrew or updated everything. Look at FBZ. the background, both internal and external are completely new. Everything has been done to make 4/5 (3K is that gray area) games levels fit into a consistent style with new levels even. And at least one act of the remake levels mixes things up completely (save for maybe GHZ 2 which took a lot of stuff from the original act 3).