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This Week in Games - Sonic Mania


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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:07 am Reply with quote
Dustin wrote:
The presence of a character select between Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles doesn't do much for me, the fairweather Sonic fan, nor do unlockable abilities from various games in the series, nor even the presence of 3D bonus stages in the style of 3 and CD.

It does surprise me that the perilously frustrating "Blue Spheres" was chosen for inclusion over the more forgiving mini-game from Sonic 2. I can only assume that the latter was deemed too similar to the special stage from Sonic CD.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 2625
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:39 am Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:

It does surprise me that the perilously frustrating "Blue Spheres" was chosen for inclusion over the more forgiving mini-game from Sonic 2.


More forgiving my foot between tails lagging movement, the bombs, & needing to collect the rings to pass it was tedious........not that blue sphere itself couldn't be.

Quote:

Uncharted spin-off, the most notable new feature of which is the occasional appearance of a dialog tree.


Uncharted 4 had those.
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Northlander



Joined: 10 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:26 am Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Zin5ki wrote:

It does surprise me that the perilously frustrating "Blue Spheres" was chosen for inclusion over the more forgiving mini-game from Sonic 2.


More forgiving my foot between tails lagging movement, the bombs, & needing to collect the rings to pass it was tedious........not that blue sphere itself couldn't be.

Yeah, when you played that game alone, you'd have to play as just Sonic, or you could just forget about the emeralds. Without that annoyance, however, said stages were far more enjoyable than the tedious, frustrating blue orb stages from Sonic 3.

But yes, the game is just... really, really good. It's a nostalgia bomb to be sure, but since I'm still a bit of a fan of the original Sonic games for the Megadrive (sans Spinball and that 3D game), that's not a bad thing at all as far as I'm concerned.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 331
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:59 am Reply with quote
I have mixed feelings about Sonic Mania. It is definitely the best of the new traditional style Sonic games that have come out (definitely better than Sonic 4 Episode I and the much improved but only so good Episode II). It's good and worth getting, no doubt about that.

I can't help but be a little annoyed when some say it's the best looking 2D Sonic game ever when some of the new stages are just...incredibly garish (hello Press Garden Act 1). I don't know that it was a great idea to use the Blue Sphere special stages as the sign post bonus, since it means having to deal with them much more frequently than I think makes sense for that sort of stage (I think Sonic 3 had the right idea with making those short ring and power up giving rounds). Especially since it doesn't stop at winning 7 of them.

Admittedly part of this is because I'm incredibly bitter that really good outings like Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Lost World get mocked and tossed aside in the rush to praise this, even by people who never played those games. Of course, I guess I'm keeping true to the part - what words go together better than "incredibly bitter" and "Sonic fan"? :D
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:00 pm Reply with quote
Is it just me or are the Blue Sphere stages here worse than 3?
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:
Admittedly part of this is because I'm incredibly bitter that really good outings like Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Lost World get mocked and tossed aside in the rush to praise this, even by people who never played those games. Of course, I guess I'm keeping true to the part - what words go together better than "incredibly bitter" and "Sonic fan"? Very Happy


While I'm not bitter in any way, I take Sonic games as they come at this point, I will agree that it can be annoying to see essentially everything post-Adventure just lumped together as a collective "bad years" (as Dustin put it), even though there were plenty of good games during that time. Hell, I'd argue that the whole "Sonic Cycle" concept has been dead ever since the trio of Colors, Generations, & Lost World came out in succession, all of which I at least found really good. Yes, there was Sonic Boom, but that was a tie-in to an animated series, not really a "main" entry in the franchise, and that "cycle" was only ever associated with main entries, anyway.

However, I do find it annoying whenever someone keeps using the “gotta go fast” excuse when explaining how an old-school Sonic game operates, because it's a fallacy that has sadly been a major reason why the later games have faltered. In the original Sonic games on Genesis, going fast was always an option, never a requirement; at most they were a reward for getting through portions of an act. Yes, you could blaze through acts & zones like a speed demon, but doing so fluidly required knowing what to expect; your first play is always going to result in you slowing down at points or making mistakes.

On the flip side, exploration allowed you to find new routes that were either neat in their rights or actually gave you more rings, power-ups, or even 1-ups. The real trick, then became being able to marry the two ideas together, going fast through stages, while also knowing what & where the best routes were. Some of the modern games lost sight of that, sadly, prioritizing speed over everything, simply because that's what the public image of Sonic was.

In fact, a recent Gamasutra article really explained the good balance of speed & platforming that the Genesis games always had, even comparing it to pinball, which I think is actually rather fitting. Luckily, Sonic Mania was made by fans who know this balance (some of them made the excellent Sonic 1 mod Sonic Megamix), so I'm really looking forward to playing it.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Luckily, Sonic Mania was made by fans who know this balance (some of them made the excellent Sonic 1 mod Sonic Megamix), so I'm really looking forward to playing it.
Oh, if you didn't like the idea of going really fast though a level, then a good chunk of Manias levels may not be to your liking. There are a lot of red springs and boost pads that send you flying all over the place.
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:20 pm Reply with quote
The main problem with Mania is the ending.

spoiler[It's basically a prequel to Forces a game that's turning out to be a stinking pile of garbage, thank goodness let's plays are a thing today.]
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Now if only Kirby could get an RPG.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:08 pm Reply with quote
I guess Sonic has been reduced to mere nostalgia-bait officially? The only other recent Sonic game I heard was good was Generations. Both games reuse old levels and mechanics, with little in the way of new content. I mean, I guess a game that apes Sonic 1-3 would be good since they were good games.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:08 pm Reply with quote
It was a real shame Sonic Generations didn't sell quite as well as SEGA had hoped. I think at that point, they had finally created a winning formula there and figured out how to design stages for the boost-based Modern Sonic. Certainly, they figured out the momentum-based physics of Classic Sonic. Then again, it seems like they're bringing back that core gameplay for Sonic Forces. I noticed the non-gaming Sonic fans are way more hyped about that than Sonic Mania (but that might be because of the Custom Hero). I've been requested repeatedly to put up Sonic Forces gameplay on my YouTube channel. Not one person has requested Sonic Mania.

Northlander wrote:
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Zin5ki wrote:

It does surprise me that the perilously frustrating "Blue Spheres" was chosen for inclusion over the more forgiving mini-game from Sonic 2.


More forgiving my foot between tails lagging movement, the bombs, & needing to collect the rings to pass it was tedious........not that blue sphere itself couldn't be.

Yeah, when you played that game alone, you'd have to play as just Sonic, or you could just forget about the emeralds. Without that annoyance, however, said stages were far more enjoyable than the tedious, frustrating blue orb stages from Sonic 3.


They did fix that in Sonic 4, between Tails getting a separate Ring counter, so he can't send the Ring total lower than what Sonic has collected, and there being indirect commands for Tails to get him roughly where you want him to be (insofar as you could get the other Ice Climber in Smash Bros. where you want them to be). But yeah, with Sonic and Tails together, the Sonic 2 Special Stages were total frustration.

But I think they chose the Sonic 3 kind of Special Stages because the "Collect X Rings!" kind of Special Stages have been quite overused through the history of the series. This sort of Special Stage returned in Sonic 3-D Blast, Sonic Triple Trouble, Knuckles' Chaotix, all three Sonic Advance games, Sonic Heroes, Sonic 4 Episode 2, and, as a call-back to Sonic Heroes, the 3DS version of Sonic Generations.

I still much prefer the Blue Spheres Special Stages over the awful UFO Special Stages in Sonic CD though. It's impossible to judge perspective, and those UFOs would dodge out of Sonic's jumps when you least expect it. I mean, I know they follow predetermined paths, but it's still hard to judge where they'll be and if you can land safely after the jump.

Lord Geo wrote:
However, I do find it annoying whenever someone keeps using the “gotta go fast” excuse when explaining how an old-school Sonic game operates, because it's a fallacy that has sadly been a major reason why the later games have faltered. In the original Sonic games on Genesis, going fast was always an option, never a requirement; at most they were a reward for getting through portions of an act. Yes, you could blaze through acts & zones like a speed demon, but doing so fluidly required knowing what to expect; your first play is always going to result in you slowing down at points or making mistakes.

On the flip side, exploration allowed you to find new routes that were either neat in their rights or actually gave you more rings, power-ups, or even 1-ups. The real trick, then became being able to marry the two ideas together, going fast through stages, while also knowing what & where the best routes were. Some of the modern games lost sight of that, sadly, prioritizing speed over everything, simply because that's what the public image of Sonic was.

In fact, a recent Gamasutra article really explained the good balance of speed & platforming that the Genesis games always had, even comparing it to pinball, which I think is actually rather fitting. Luckily, Sonic Mania was made by fans who know this balance (some of them made the excellent Sonic 1 mod Sonic Megamix), so I'm really looking forward to playing it.


Indeed, the old games were not based on speed, but momentum. It was a 2-D platformer, first and foremost, and you had to find ways to proceed using Sonic's ability to run quickly. Speed sections were set pieces (which is something that is understood to today) as a reward for getting to that point in the stage. I don't mind the speed-based gameplay of Sonic Unleashed's day stages or the blinding pace of the Sonic Rush games, and I quite like them, but it's a very common misconception that Sonic was always like this.

As someone who's both a fan of Sonic and of pinball (and it's a real travesty there has never been a full arcade-sized and official pinball machine of Sonic, despite SEGA being in the pinball business twice!), while I can understand the analogy regarding controlling your speed and precise aim, to be REALLY good at pinball, you have to slow yourself down as much as you can. Only beginners will make no attempt at slowing or stopping the ball, whereas in Sonic, skilled gameplay involves finely navigating Sonic where the player wants him to be at high speeds.

Hoppy800 wrote:
The main problem with Mania is the ending.

spoiler[It's basically a prequel to Forces a game that's turning out to be a stinking pile of garbage, thank goodness let's plays are a thing today.]


I'm honestly not really seeing that. It seems to be appealing really well to the segment of Sonic fans who aren't into Sonic Mania very much.

I think it was a very wise move on SEGA's part to split the franchise up like this, as it's pretty clear these two factions are at odds with each other and have no common ground.

Lord Oink wrote:
I guess Sonic has been reduced to mere nostalgia-bait officially? The only other recent Sonic game I heard was good was Generations. Both games reuse old levels and mechanics, with little in the way of new content. I mean, I guess a game that apes Sonic 1-3 would be good since they were good games.


The stages in Sonic Generations were quite heavily remixed, even for the Sonic that pertains to them. For the other Sonic, they play totally differently. The only stages that were copy-pasted from the original games are the first three Classic Sonic stages in the 3DS version, which is largely viewed as the weakest point among both games (and the 3DS one was not very well-liked due to its empty design and overreliance on the Homing Attack, even for Classic Sonic).
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:26 pm Reply with quote
Kicksville wrote:

Admittedly part of this is because I'm incredibly bitter that really good outings like Sonic Rush Adventure and Sonic Lost World get mocked and tossed aside in the rush to praise this,


Lost Word was decent outside of few aspects (specifically the WiiU version) but it's reception pales in comparison to the way Unleashed was treated back in it's day. Of particular note is how people whined about Werehog slowing Sonic down which was the point of it's playstyle....jump ahead to Lost World where Sonic is noticeably slower?.....Biggest issue people hold against it is how similar it is to Super Mario Galaxy.

Lord Oink wrote:
I mean, I guess a game that apes Sonic 1-3 would be good since they were good games.


They were (minus a few hiccups like 3 acts in Metropolis Zone just cause, the Barrel in Carnival Night Zone, Needing all the Emerald's for Doomsday Zone). But one "legit" caveat to the success of the games was Sega insisting on rereleasing them which is why some people like me were really numb to Sonic Mania's announcement.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:26 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Lord Geo wrote:
Luckily, Sonic Mania was made by fans who know this balance (some of them made the excellent Sonic 1 mod Sonic Megamix), so I'm really looking forward to playing it.
Oh, if you didn't like the idea of going really fast though a level, then a good chunk of Manias levels may not be to your liking. There are a lot of red springs and boost pads that send you flying all over the place.


Where did I say that I didn't like going fast through a Sonic level? All I said was that the old Sonic games weren't ONLY about going fast, & that high-level play was about balancing speed with platforming, which is something that the later games lost sight of by focusing primarily on speed. Also, I absolutely know what to expect from Mania because I already have played Megamix, which uses things like boost pads & red springs. That being said, these fans who made both games know this proper balance, so the pads & springs aren't like what games like Unleashed & Sonic 06 tried doing.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2122
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:41 am Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:


Where did I say that I didn't like going fast through a Sonic level? All I said was that the old Sonic games weren't ONLY about going fast, & that high-level play was about balancing speed with platforming, which is something that the later games lost sight of by focusing primarily on speed. Also, I absolutely know what to expect from Mania because I already have played Megamix, which uses things like boost pads & red springs. That being said, these fans who made both games know this proper balance, so the pads & springs aren't like what games like Unleashed & Sonic 06 tried doing.
You said you like balance, I am just saying Mania doesn't have a balance with most levels, it just bounces you along, sometimes even into hazards. I never want a Sonic game to be made by fans every again.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:08 am Reply with quote
Mania deserves all of the hype. All I can say is that playing it brought back the same feeling I had as a kid and played Sonic for the first time. Game Grumps have played for a couple of episodes and Arin was talking about how the game was just full of the creators' love for Sonic, and I think that's exactly it.

I do still have some criticisms... though mostly just the special stages. Getting the emeralds in Sonic CD was the one thing I was never able to do, so I'm not happy with the return of that style special stage. I also haven't even been able to find any of the big rings to try to get emeralds yet, although it must just be me since Arin found 2 of them no problem. I also agree that there are way too many Blue Sphere stages breaking up the game, since you only need like, 25 rings or something? Maybe they wanted to give ample opportunities to practice...But that said, I looooooovve Blue Spheres so I don't mind personally. It's too bad I can't get the emeralds that way, though.

MarshalBanana wrote:
Is it just me or are the Blue Sphere stages here worse than 3?
Actually the majority of the ones I've played so far are straight from Sonic 3, with modifications to make them easier, if anything.

The real blue sphere challenges are the ones you get from plugging in other games (or Sonic 1) into Sonic and Knuckles. Can you beat all 128,016,000 different stages? Laughing
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