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Thread: Sonic Mania! [ALL THE SPOILERS]

  1. #1

    Dancing Chocobo Sonic Mania! [ALL THE SPOILERS]

    SERIOUSLY, SPOILERS.

    Technical stuff first:

    Is it as good as the Genesis games? Yes.

    Is it better than Sonic 3 & Knuckles? No.

    Rating? 10/10

    Now for the gushing. 99.9% of this game is fantastic. While most of the zones are old they are remixed so much that they may as well be new. Act 1 is usually a condensed version of the original with Act 2 being brand new concepts. Throughout it all the game combines concepts of various zones. Flying Battery mixes with Wing Fortress, Stardust Speedway mixes with Marble Garden, Lava Reef with Quartz Quadrant, Oil Ocean with Sandopolis, etc. I love it all.

    My favorite new zone: Press Garden. Specifically Act 2.

    Bosses are a mixed bag. Some are awesome like the Mirage Saloon Hard Boiled Heavy or Metallic Madness Robotnik. Others can be irritating like Oil Ocean Zone Robotnik (a mix of the original Sonic 2 boss and Lava Reef mini) or Lava Reef Hard Boiled Heavy. And sad to say, the Super Sonic boss at the end was awful. A closed arena, hard to see what's going on, an attack that can actually harm you, and a worthless "boost" that does nothing but use up some rings. It was horribly disappointing. Then there are brilliant surprises like Mean Bean Machine at the end of Chemical Plant.

    Music was absolutely flawless. Remixes and new tracks alike. Nothing bad in the entire soundtrack.

    Knuckles' run was slightly disappointing. It felt more like a "Knuckles in Sonic 2" run more than anything else. There were barely any divergent paths exclusive to him (that I was able to discover anyway) and the only unique zone was Mirage Saloon Act 1. However in a way I enjoyed this run more since his "path" actually skips a couple bosses I didn't care for.

    The Special Stages are probably my favorite in the series now. Like an enjoyable version of Sonic CD seasoned with a bit from Sonic 1 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. They also have that nice Sega Saturn polygonal goodness. Not to mention the return of Super Knuckles and Super Tails! Super Sonic and Knuckles style is actually that of their hyper forms from S3&K, but lacking the additional abilities (flashing and ground shaking) and Tails ditched the Flikies sadly. It's also dumb that going super wasn't mapped to another button. The game essentially only uses the D-Pad and a button to jump. What the hell? I hope that gets patched in later.

    Blue Sphere has been perfected. I had actually grown tired of them over the years from playing so often, but it runs so silky smooth now it's almost like playing something completely different. There were no flaws outside of what I would consider a couple poorly designed courses. All failures were 100% on me.

    There are so many little details that I'd like to share, but I don't want to cause this post to ramble on. Simply put, this is the definition of a love letter to fans. I know at least one other has played this here. Any others?


  2. #2
    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    Glad to see that someone besides me has been enjoying this game as much. To tell the truth, I've been sort of irritated that no one made a thread on this yet. Yes, I could have, but I've been pretty busy outside of this place.

    Anyway, I am with you on practically all your points. Especially with the soundtrack. I don't know what my favorite zone is, but since you mentioned that Press Garden Act 2 was, I'll agree to the point where I think that's one of the best new tracks in the game.

    Something I find real cool about the new music is that even though it uses "instruments" that the Genesis couldn't hope to produce, the music still very much sounds like stuff you would find on the Genesis in the 90s. With Press Garden Act 2, I can easily hear a Genesis version in my head and it doesn't lose its luster.

    I actually liked the Super Sonic battle, though. It would have been lame just to redo the chase at the end of S3&K. It could have gone better, but I actually liked how hard that boss fight pushed me at first and how a player can tackle it by either being risky (but skilled) or slow (but more strategic). Also that music? Man, when the guitar kicks in I love it. Then again, I am a sucker for any video game music where it sounds like everything is on the line.

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    Slothstronaut Slothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sephex View Post
    Glad to see that someone besides me has been enjoying this game as much. To tell the truth, I've been sort of irritated that no one made a thread on this yet.
    I can't make a thread if it's not on PC yet.

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    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    True, but I figured someone besides me got it on a console. That and it was a hotly anticipated game. Then again, this game isn't a poor movie script shoved awkwardly into a mandatory 60 hours of gameplay (40% to 60% of which are padding) with an angry protagonist that has a military haircut, so I shouldn't be surprised that modern gamers aren't into it.

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    Skyblade's Avatar
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    Life been too hectic to play a lot of it.

    I do have some issues with it.

    For one thing, I have no clue how the Chaos Emerald stages are supposed to work. I found one, but didn't make it in nearly the time, and have no idea how to improve that time.

    The blue sphere bonus levels are also really disappointing. Mostly because they don't seem to get you ANYTHING as a reward. They're a distraction from the level flow that the game would be better off without.

    And, finally, the boss of Studiopolis Act 1 is perhaps the worst designed boss in a Sonic game I've played. The way jumping screws with your momentum in the top speed autoscrollers means that you need to learn basically a whole different set of mechanics for this one boss fight.

    But, it's fun, and definitely a welcome return to form for the series. And the box is just pure nostalgia. Everything from the SEGA seal to one side being emblazoned with a very familiar old calling card:

    WELCO
    METOT
    HENEX
    TLEVEL
    My friend Delzethin is currently running a GoFundMe account to pay for some extended medical troubles he's had. He's had chronic issues and lifetime troubles that have really crippled his career opportunities, and he's trying to get enough funding to get back to a stable medical situation. If you like his content, please support his GoFundMe, or even just contribute to his Patreon.

    He can really use a hand with this, and any support you can offer is appreciated.

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    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    On phone so this will be a rough reply.

    The Chaos Emerald stages work like this: Collect rings to increase your time. Collect blue spheres to gradually increase speed level. The track is a loop like a race car track. So collect both while avoiding obstacles and you'll eventually catch up to the UFO. When you get close enough you'll automatically collect it.

    There is a point to the blue sphere mini games. Get all the rings and clear the stages to unlock stuff.

    That boss may seem annoying at first, but all you have to do is hit one of the fat, blue missiles. You can even roll into it. Just avoid the red missiles. Depending on the arc, your jump does get affected, but you can easily time it so that you can jump when the surface is flat, so your jumps aren't messed with. In between most segments you can get more rings, so that makes the boss easy to deal with too. I like the boss because it uses speed as a theme which is usually reserved for end game stuff or special bosses.

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    Skyblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sephex View Post
    On phone so this will be a rough reply.

    The Chaos Emerald stages work like this: Collect rings to increase your time. Collect blue spheres to gradually increase speed level. The track is a loop like a race car track. So collect both while avoiding obstacles and you'll eventually catch up to the UFO. When you get close enough you'll automatically collect it.
    I don't remember seeing rings, I don't think. Just blue spheres. I'll need to replay.

    There is a point to the blue sphere mini games. Get all the rings and clear the stages to unlock stuff.
    Ah. Okay. I did like, seven of them, and was then like "what is the point of these". Glad that there is something to them, but I think they could convey that better.

    That boss may seem annoying at first, but all you have to do is hit one of the fat, blue missiles. You can even roll into it. Just avoid the red missiles. Depending on the arc, your jump does get affected, but you can easily time it so that you can jump when the surface is flat, so your jumps aren't messed with. In between most segments you can get more rings, so that makes the boss easy to deal with too. I like the boss because it uses speed as a theme which is usually reserved for end game stuff or special bosses.
    Avoiding the red missiles is the hard part. You can only jump over them at full speed. But the problem is, when you land, your speed is reduced. Since he always fires two with a blue missile, avoiding the first one is usually pretty easy, but the second is much more difficult. You don't have enough time to build speed back up before you have to jump again, and you'll frequently miss. It involves learning a lot about how your momentum changes when landing from jumps, information that (thus far) hasn't been used or even useful anywhere else in the game, so it was a very annoying boss fight. Especially since if you get hit once, your rings fly off stage before you can recover them, and there is only one set of bonus rings (between phases one and two) in the whole fight.
    My friend Delzethin is currently running a GoFundMe account to pay for some extended medical troubles he's had. He's had chronic issues and lifetime troubles that have really crippled his career opportunities, and he's trying to get enough funding to get back to a stable medical situation. If you like his content, please support his GoFundMe, or even just contribute to his Patreon.

    He can really use a hand with this, and any support you can offer is appreciated.

  8. #8
    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    Hmm, I remember there being at least two times where I got more rings in between segments. Anyway, I know the momentum aspect of the boss battle can be tricky, but that's why I recommended jumping only on even surfaces and rolling into the blue missiles. Jumping feels like normal, and you don't even have to worry about it for the missile that counts.

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    SHAAAAAUN! Scotty_ffgamer's Avatar
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    I've had a lot of fun so far. We'll see if I can beat it because I don't know if I've ever beaten an old school sonic game. I've never been good at them.

    The only thing I haven't liked so far are the blue sphere stages. I was terrible at it in sonic 3, and I'm terrible now. I don't really find it fun and would have preferred them to use the sonic 2 special stage. I do really like the chaos emerald special stages though.

  10. #10
    'Just Friends' Formalhaut's Avatar
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    Honestly my interest in Sonic dropped off a cliff after the last few games that were pretty much panned, but glad to see this is doing well. Might pick it up if I've got some money.


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    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Formalhaut View Post
    Honestly my interest in Sonic dropped off a cliff after the last few games that were pretty much panned, but glad to see this is doing well. Might pick it up if I've got some money.
    It's basically another Genesis game, which I think was needed. If you ever enjoyed any aspect of the Genesis titles, you'll dig this game.

    As far as 3D Sonic games go, they have good qualities, but I personally felt like none of them have ever touched the old school games. After they tried to emulate an old school vibe with Sonic 4 (ugh) and Generations (solid overall) I never would have thought that not only Sega would give another old game a shot, but they also successfully outsourced the game to fans. Yet the game feels as authentic as an old title that somehow actually feels like Sega decided to continue the series on the Saturn or something. Very minimal "fan game" vibes on top of that.

    Anyway, don't mind me, just been happy to talk about this game with people, even if it is just a passing interest!

  12. #12

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    The HBH boss in Studiopolis has two paths between segments. Once you get those rings that's it. It seems random as to which one you run through, though.

    In Blue Sphere there are sometimes rings already on the course, but most of them are revealed by "outlining" grids of spheres 9x9 or larger. That will cause all of them to become rings. That's why it's important to save non-ringable spheres for last so you don't miss getting a perfect.

    Another tip for the special stages is jumping at corners for tighter turns. This is especially helpful while at mach 2 or 3. Apparently you can even catch the UFOs at mach 1 utilizing jumping well enough. I caught one at mach 2 once.

    One of my favorite moments of the game I forgot to mention was seeing Oil Ocean Zone for the first time. While seeing the train in Mirage Saloon I noticed that the tanker car reminded me of Oil Ocean's style, then that ended up being the next zone. I was hyped up thinking "That train was heading to Oil Ocean!"

    I am also really surprised that Ice Cap didn't get a remake (or hasn't yet in general). For being such a popular zone it hasn't been getting much love. Aside from freezing in Press Garden Zone I can't even think of any callbacks to it.

    Oh, and one more disappointment was the zone transitions. It was said they would return, so I was expecting there would be one for all of them. Instead there were only four or five I think.
    Last edited by Darth Ganon; 08-25-2017 at 05:43 AM. Reason: Grammar


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    I can't be the only one in the world who enjoys CD's Special Stages, can I?

    I beat Knuckles Campaign first (he's been my favorite since I first played Sonic Advance), and the Lava Reef Zone cutscene was something special. I'll probably play as Sonic later; I've been going through the time trial mode and am in danger of burning myself out. I think I'd say this is the most solidly designed Sonic game; there's nothing like Grounder from Aquatic Ruin Zone, or the ball and chains from Marble Hill (well, the latter are in Stardust Speedway, but they're smaller and easier to see coming, makes me want to see Christian Whitehead release that prototype S3&K remaster).

    That being said, because most of the levels feel like a "Sonic's Greatest Hits", the story (narrative?) doesn't "flow" like it does in S3&K. There are some cool moments like the transitions from Chemical Plant to Studiopolis to Flying Battery. I also miss the Bonus stages; with all the new qualities the elemental shields have, it's disappointing that I can't try my luck for a shield that will help with the level I'm on. These are more nitpicks than anything else, but I'd say while Mania is a better "game" than Sonic 3, the latter stuck with me more.
    Returners Represent!

  14. #14

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    Knuckles was having A Biff moment in that scene. The fact that the Super Emeralds were all cracked felt like an "answer" for people wondering why they or the hyper forms never returned.

    Also, I'm not the only one that knows it's a Time Stone Robotnik is using to warp everybody around, right? I'm watching a blind let's play of it right now and every time it appears they wonder what it is. Even at the end of Press Garden with a screen showing Little Planet and Metal Sonic. Come on, guys!

    Speaking of the CD special stages, I did not like them in the GCN port nor the XBLA port. I'm still reserving judgement for the mobile port since I've yet to play it seriously (I still need an Android controller of some kind).

    A couple questions:

    1. What are everybody's favorite tracks?

    2. Favorite original zone?


  15. #15
    Famine Wolf Cid's Knight Sephex's Avatar
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    Press Garden Act 2 is my favorite. Though Studiopolis Act 2 is a very, very close second.

    Original stage? Mirage Saloon as both acts together because I love the atmosphere and the mixed style of gameplay.

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