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Thread: Hands-On: Sonic Mania

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Sonic Hands-On: Sonic Mania

    Sonic recently returned with an all-new, 2D adventure that takes the franchise back to its 16-bit glory days. We give it a full hands-on to see if it's the game we've all wanted, and while there might be more of the Genesis games than new content, what's there is exceptional. Read the full article for all the details.

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    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Great review. Agreed on everything, though I think piling it in with obvious cheap cash-ins seems a tad harsh since there's a lot more ingenuity and polish here than say, Mega Man 9, even with all of the rehashing included in the game.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Just read this, nice article Baloo. If anyone can help me I have a couple of questions about the PC release...

    If I pay and download from here...

    http://www.sega.com/games/sonicmania

    ... Do I just then receive a .exe type thing? I can't seem to find that anywhere.

    I think my Windows 7 Radion machine (six years old perhaps) should have enough grunt for this, but I'll have to check the specs of course. I'd love an Android port of this!

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    Road Rasher CrossBow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    Just read this, nice article Baloo. If anyone can help me I have a couple of questions about the PC release...

    If I pay and download from here...

    http://www.sega.com/games/sonicmania

    ... Do I just then receive a .exe type thing? I can't seem to find that anywhere.

    I think my Windows 7 Radion machine (six years old perhaps) should have enough grunt for this, but I'll have to check the specs of course. I'd love an Android port of this!
    Pretty sure that no matter where you purchase it from, you will end up getting a Steam key to redeem. That is how mine came from the collectors edition.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Cool, thanks for that. I'm not on Steam and have no PC games, is it complicated? And if I were to obtain the game this way and bought a new PC down the line, can it transfer to it?

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    AKA Mister Xiado Outrunner Raijin Z's Avatar
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    Be advised that the PC version is buggered to the back teeth with Denuvo.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Thanks for this, I think I'll hold off for now based on this. With a bit of luck we'll get an Android port soon.

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    Benjamin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    Interesting how Sega's PC Download link takes you to the Humble Bundle store, which makes no mention of Denuvo, even on the Terms and Conditions, ToS, and EULA pages. I guess it's basically covered by the usual "you are forfeiting your rights" jargon buried in those texts. Regardless I'm surprised Sega's not selling the code via its own store.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    I found that weird too... I'm still interested in the PC version (it's the only version I could play at present) but can't be bothered with opening a Steam account.

    Pure speculation this, but how likely is an Android port of this at somevstage do we think?

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    Video Game Modder Road Rasher segasonicfan's Avatar
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    Really enjoyable read, and one of the better articles written for Sega-16.

    I have some mixed feelings about SMania...while I was hyped as shit for every sneak peek that came through, after my first playthrough I don't find myself wanting to return to it much, probably due to the "rehashiness" the article makes note of. Certainly the bosses were uneven, and stuff like the Puyo Puyo boss was good for an initial "lol" but not much else.

    I actually thought it didn't borrow enough from the loathsome Knuckles Choatix. While I hate that game it /was/ the best graphical evolution of the series in many respects. I wanted larger sprite art in Mania, and especially lots of sprite scaling. I was a little disappointed with how flat it all was, and how comparably small the sprites were to giant bosses of say, 16-bit Treasure games.

    The blue spheres stages bog the game down a lot, and the control response is actually a bit off as well. And I'm the only person around that doesn't love the new special stages I guess. They are buggy, hard to control, and many of the pits just feel super cheap. I prefer Sonic CDs stages any day of the week, which don't have the super cheap "oh-you-didn't-see-that-pit" insta-deaths. They are pretty fun aside from that though, and I did want to keep returning to them.

    Metallic Madness felt very stale to me (though I never liked that stage much) and the rap was just awful...though maybe that was on purpose? lol.

    Oddly enough, I actually liked a lot of the remade stages, which surprised me. Titan Monarch was superb though, I must say. Honestly, I wish they hade made 2 games or a part 1 and part 2 with the remade stages and new stages separate. They feel very different and are enjoyable in their own ways.

    What sets this game apart is the music. Tee Lopes is a genius that executed a soundtrack to perfection. Without him this game would lose quite a lot.
    The physics are great though, and given the lack of QA this thing obviously had, I really can't fault it for any bugs. The homages are tremendously enjoyable and the game does approach the glory days of the classic Sonic. It is more of a Sonic 3 quality game, not quite reaching the polished heights of S1, S2, and SCD imo. But that's a helluva achievement.

    I think the 4/5 rating is perfectly fair. A very good game and a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane that probably would have excelled even more without the red tape from Sega Corp.

    -Segasonicfan

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker Cafeman's Avatar
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    Lengthy and thorough review. I have yet to play much of Sonic Mania because I don't own Switch or PS4 yet, and although my i7 laptop seemed to run the Steam version fine, there is a bug in my Windows 10 drivers and it wasnt outputting sound on hdmi out to the tv... so we used my son's laptop , and I watched him play through over half of Sonic Mania that night before he went home. I refuse to buy it if I can't play it on my big TV . They got me to beat the Mean Bean Boss but I was happy to just observe most of it. I will own it and play it thru some day however. Sonic Mania seemed like a lengthy game to me. I hate the 3D Sonic games like Sonic Forces or whatever.

    Also, my son was a Blue sphere MASTER. He remembered the paths from the Genesis games! Are there any new Blue spheres maps?

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    Rebel Pizza ESWAT Veteran Thief's Avatar
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    Don't you have a headset or some cheapo's for audio out of PC while playing on TV, Cafeman? And to me it seemed like half the Blue Spheres were new. Congrats on your son still being pro at them, I was once but not anymore.

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    Hard Road! ESWAT Veteran Barone's Avatar
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    So I finally had the time to sit down and read this thoughtful, well-written article.

    They failed to realize that mere speed in each level was not the end-all-be-all of Sonic The Hedgehog. Rather, it was the colorful, new zones that came with each new installation of the franchise that kept us wanting more. Exploring lush green forests intermixed with zones that gave a social critique of pollution in the modern world was an exciting and new thing for 1991. Playing the same Sonic zones again in 2017 doesn’t really give that same thrill, wonder and awe that former installations of the series gave to new players. Even the new levels, which few and far between are bogged down by containing too many elements of past Sonic games in them, just out of reach of what could be greatness.
    This.
    I'll go a bit further and say:
    - One of the things that made the first Sonic The Hedgehog game feel so shockingly refreshing was how insanely tall and ginormous some of the level parts were when compared to you (as Sonic). You couldn't measure on a single screen how much taller than you the Green Hill mountains were when you're standing still in the lower paths of the level.
    In such aspect, Sonic was crazily beyond all previous platformers, including Super Mario World which was still limited to 3rd gen design concepts for the most part.
    Sonic Mania did expand on the height of the levels (in the same way Sonic 2 and 3 had done) but it fails to deliver that impact of proportions Sonic games once had. Also, the height expansion came with a serious cluttering cost for the level design when compared to Sonic 3 and it makes the gameplay more confusing than appealing IMO.

    - Music is also a big factor here. The revamped versions of the originals sure sound great - especially technically speaking - but they're too crowded and loud for their own good in my honest opinion. Classic Sonic soundtracks gave you much more room to breath, relax, contemplate the visual marvel and groundbreaking experience of those games. There's also a natural emotion of the music that gets lost when you add up a lot more instruments and texturing from the very beginning instead of having the instruments and melodies growing slowly as the track progresses.
    Sonic games were never meant to be played with arranged soundtracks to begin with; and arranged soundtracks aren't automatically better than "simpler" chiptunes. This is an issue I have with many CD games from the past and it seems to reappear here.

    - While not plagued by the "it's all about speed" concept of the awful 3D Sonic games made by the actual dreadful Sonic Team, the overall level design of Sonic Mania still focus too much on Sonic-isms elements of gameplay (loops, spinning attacks, chained jump attacks on enemies, etc.) rather than exploring the joy of playing with proper physics as the first game taught us so well (yeah, you cheap spin dash motherfuckers ).
    Again, the levels are too cluttered and the action is too much focused on speed and quickness of reactions to allow you to enjoy some inertia contemplation here and there.


    Sonic Mania seems to find a little too much comfort in what has been done before, perhaps indicative of society’s current love of nostalgia more than anything else, found in the recent plethora of sequels, remakes, and reboots to popular books, movies, and other video game series.
    Is there anyone here who would question the fact that creativity has gone downhill in our society in the past two decades?
    'Cause, seriously, the 4K re-re-releases of the previous HD upscans of 6th gen remakes are getting old fast.
    I'm also not very excited about Final Fantasy XXV: Chapter III Prologue II - The Reloaded Begins 2.1 Steam Edition.

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