Sonic Mania |OT| Dreams Come True

bman94

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It's good, but this game still carries the flaws of earlier titles, namely that it's too easy to lose rings and feel like its not your fault and that it's at its best when they don't put enemies and obstacles in unfair places. Also the time limit can fuck off. No need for it.
Dude, what? Too easy to lose rings? It's one hit and you lose health, how is that different from any other 2D platformer? And if anything, enemy placement and overall difficulty is miles ahead Sonic CD, Sonic 2 and Sonic 1. What are you doing that 10 minutes Is not enough time to finish the level? That's more than enough time.
 

Ristifer

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It's good, but this game still carries the flaws of earlier titles, namely that it's too easy to lose rings and feel like its not your fault and that it's at its best when they don't put enemies and obstacles in unfair places. Also the time limit can fuck off. No need for it.
I don't really understand the "enemies and obstacles in unfair places" criticism. These games are meant to make you feel a little uneasy in your path, even if you're blazing through comfortably. You can never get too comfortable in a Sonic zone. That's why the time limit is there, too.
 

Ferr986

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Oct 6, 2012
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So I was listening to Stardust Speedway act 2, and it kind of sounds like there's a subtle reference to the Sonic OVA in there.

In the background from 1:00 to 1:15, I hear something that reminds me a bit of South Island from the OVA.

It's not exactly the same but it sounds awfully similar. Same instrument, close enough melody. Maybe legal ownership stuff forced them to modify it slightly.
Um... can't hear it myself. That melody is an edited version of the original SS melody.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

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Apr 4, 2013
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They aren't even a problem in this game.
They absolutely are. Why? Because they're so rare that when they are there it catches you comepletely off guard. You think, I'll just drop down here and go this low route. Oh I'm dead. What? Flying Battery and Mirage Saloon Knuckles did this to me.

If you're going to make bottomless pits this rare then either eliminate them completely so stuff like this doesn't happen at all or go the Colours/Generations route and have signage that informs the player a death pit is here.
 

NeonBlack

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Jan 25, 2015
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They absolutely are. Why? Because they're so rare that when they are there it catches you comepletely off guard. You think, I'll just drop down here and go this low route. Oh I'm dead. What? Flying Battery and Mirage Saloon Knuckles did this to me.

If you're going to make bottomless pits this rare then either eliminate them completely so stuff like this doesn't happen at all or go the Colours/Generations route and have signage that informs the player a death pit is here.
Or you lose 1 out of 50 lives and keep it trucking.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

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Apr 4, 2013
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Or you lose 1 out of 50 lives and keep it trucking.
You do keep on trucking. It doesn't kill the game. But here's the golden question. Why is that death pit even there? What does it do to make the game better? We both know the answer. Absolutely nothing. There is no reason for it to be there.
 

Aaron Strife

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So I was listening to Stardust Speedway act 2, and it kind of sounds like there's a subtle reference to the Sonic OVA in there.

In the background from 1:00 to 1:15, I hear something that reminds me a bit of South Island from the OVA.

It's not exactly the same but it sounds awfully similar. Same instrument, close enough melody. Maybe legal ownership stuff forced them to modify it slightly.
The Sonic OVA soundtrack never receiving an official release is such a travesty.
 

blanco21

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May 9, 2011
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You do keep on trucking. It doesn't kill the game. But here's the golden question. Why is that death pit even there? What does it do to make the game better? We both know the answer. Absolutely nothing. There is no reason for it to be there.
do people say stupid shit like this in the mario and zelda threads? i didn't fall in a single pit either. its annoying how people want this series to 'evolve' into sonic advance also
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

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Apr 4, 2013
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do people say stupid shit like this in the mario and zelda threads? i didn't fall in a single pit either. its annoying how people want this series to 'evolve' into sonic advance also
Mario has death pits every 10 seconds and makes it very obvious when a pit will lead to death. Navigating past these is an obstacle for the player to overcome. They serve a purpose.

What is the purpose of a death pit in Sonic Mania? Throughout almost the entirety of the game the game teaches the player that falling will simply lead to a lower path. The game teaches the player that exploring high AND low reaps rewards. Why not jump down and see what's there? The game teaches this. Then on a couple instances the game decides to have a "gotcha" moment with a pit of death. Why? It's poor design. If you wanna build your game around navigating past pits of death, cool. But don't teach the player one thing for virtually the entire game then change the rules for one random segment without warning.
 

SixFourMike

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Feb 24, 2012
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I think Mania is the first time I consciously decided to switch paths instead of just carrying on with the one I was on. Did it in Flying Battery, for example. If I had died while experimenting, which I did because I see Mania as an enhancement of the original series, then I would have given up trying that. So the fake bottomless pits, especially the example given, don't serve any purpose and any cohesive with the overall design that encourages exploration.
 

bytesized

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The bottom less pits are platforming challenges just like any other, what's the problem? You die, you try to do better next time, you make it and you feel rewarded for it. That's the point. God, I hope the developers are not taking notes on some of your criticisms...
 

Guess Who

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Oct 21, 2012
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It's not like this game has a lot of bottomless pits? How many can I think of? There's one in Studiopolis Act 1. Maybe a few in Knuckles's Mirage Saloon Act 1 (and you can, at any time, cancel out of a jump as Knuckles and glide into the nearest wall to not die). And of course, Flying Battery Zone, whose whole stage gimmick is that it's a ship in the sky, so of course falling off the bottom is death (and even then most of the stage is indoors and pitless).

I don't know why this small handful of bottomless pits is some kind of design flaw when they are a staple of the platforming genre since literally forever.
 
Apr 27, 2011
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The bottom less pits are platforming challenges just like any other, what's the problem? You die, you try to do better next time, you make it and you feel rewarded for it. That's the point. God, I hope the developers are not taking notes on some of your criticisms...
I think the actual concern here is that bottomless pits are sometimes hard to discern from paths to lower routes. It's different from other obstacles because you don't actually know if it is dangerous or not until it's too late.

Some pits are telegraphed better than others, and in a game where there's very few, it can be jarring when you've landed in one without warning.

I personally haven't had any issues with pits in this game, but it has been an issue with Sonic in the past.
 

Lord British

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Feb 15, 2011
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If you hold the "down" arrow, you look down. If you don't see anything, don't fall down.

Additionally, there are bottomless pits in Green Hill Zone Act 1. They're established from the start.
 

TheOGB

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Yeah, I get that that one in Studiopolis is weird, but it doesn't occur nearly enough to be an actual problem
 

Lord British

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Having said that, I believe that Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles' first zones (Angel Island and Mushroom Hill) did not include bottomless pits. In fact I think there might not be any in Hydrocity, Marble Garden, or Carnival Night either!
 

Frenzy-kun

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Dec 29, 2016
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I think the actual concern here is that bottomless pits are sometimes hard to discern from paths to lower routes. It's different from other obstacles because you don't actually know if it is dangerous or not until it's too late.

Some pits are telegraphed better than others, and in a game where there's very few, it can be jarring when you've landed in one without warning.

I personally haven't had any issues with pits in this game, but it has been an issue with Sonic in the past.
Finally some sense into this matter.

The real problem here is thee lack of feedback. In retro games it was usual to mark the edges of the level with a simple camera scroll limit. In sonic games, since of how it moves and how big levels are, there is usually not enough space to build up a level segment where you can really notice you are in the edges.

In the end it's as simple as provide proper feedback for the players to know that the edge is close enough so no workshop or structure can be found before reaching the edge. Something as simple as adding a foggy gradient that extends upwards or directly adding a one hit KO hazard that is recognizable across the game will make the bottom pits not such a big deal yet keeping it's valuable mechanics as a platformer.
 

Lord British

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Finally some sense into this matter.

The real problem here is thee lack of feedback. In retro games it was usual to mark the edges of the level with a simple camera scroll limit. In sonic games, since of how it moves and how big levels are, there is usually not enough space to build up a level segment where you can really notice you are in the edges.

In the end it's as simple as provide proper feedback for the players to know that the edge is close enough so no workshop or structure can be found before reaching the edge. Something as simple as adding a foggy gradient that extends upwards or directly adding a one hit KO hazard that is recognizable across the game will make the bottom pits not such a big deal yet keeping it's valuable mechanics as a platformer.
Ironically, later 3D Sonics include large red warning triangles over bottomless pits - something that could do with being added to Mania, perhaps.
 

Lord British

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Just the bottomless pit warnings, as it is a current subject of the discussion.

I mean... it would fix the problem. I like the "fog" idea suggested above as well.
 

Ferr986

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To be fair Sonic 1 on the Game Gear had bottomless pits/spikes signs already, right?.

I honestly don't care much, but I'll rather not use pits, Sonic CD only has 1 in the whole game, for example(in the last act).
 

NeonBlack

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Jan 25, 2015
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Did we ever get sales numbers for this?

You do keep on trucking. It doesn't kill the game. But here's the golden question. Why is that death pit even there? What does it do to make the game better? We both know the answer. Absolutely nothing. There is no reason for it to be there.
Adds a challenge. I always thought the objective in stages were to stay as high up as possible.
 

Shadio

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To be fair Sonic 1 on the Game Gear had bottomless pits/spikes signs already, right?.
That's only for the first level to signify sections where you need to slow down and perform some careful platforming, whether or not falling will harm you. I suppose it might be the game's way of telling you that you don't need to rush everything.

Although there's also one for an unavoidable section of a level where you need to fall through the floor to progress.
 

Exodust

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I think the bottomless pit thing shows the divide in people who see platforming as a genre where you pick up lives because death is to be expected and those who think any sort of death in a game is a flaw somehow.

There's nothing wrong with bottomless pits if they show up sparingly as you're learning the layout of a level. If you want to see bottomless pits become a problem play any of the Rush and Advance games(and basically all of the 3D games).

Only "objective" flaws I can find in Sonic Mania is the super button input, which is thankfully being addressed, and all the weirdo glitches that stop progression. Anything more is you not liking a game's playstyle or at least an aspect of it. Nothing more.
 

Hilbert

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Those pits aren't bad.

Now the pits in mystic cave that have spikes in the bottom and you can't get out. And you lose your rings, but keep accidentally picking them up so you have to lose them again. Or if you fall down as super sonic and have to wait 60+ seconds for it to run out for you to die.....those are painful.
 

Wowfunhappy

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Anyone else think bottomless pits should be removed next game?
No, but there should be some sort of visual indicator that a gap is a bottomless pit.

For example, in Kirby's Canvass Curse, there are semi-transparent up arrows that appear over all bottomless gaps. Sonic would heavily benefit from something like this.
 

Diablohead

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No, but there should be some sort of visual indicator that a gap is a bottomless pit.

For example, in Kirby's Canvass Curse, there are semi-transparent up arrows that appear over all bottomless gaps. Sonic would heavily benefit from something like this.
Some sonic games have done similar things, Sonic 4 ep 2 does this but even with the warnings the level layouts in that game either require you to fly with tails over open pits with wind blowing against you or massive jumps you need to clear or die, no other option.

Sonic Mania hides most if not all it's bottomless pits away, I don't think i've even fallen down one in my 3 playthroughs.
 

Kor of Memory

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Some sonic games have done similar things, Sonic 4 ep 2 does this but even with the warnings the level layouts in that game either require you to fly with tails over open pits with wind blowing against you or massive jumps you need to clear or die, no other option.

Sonic Mania hides most if not all it's bottomless pits away, I don't think i've even fallen down one in my 3 playthroughs.
I had to actively look for them on any level that wasn't Flying Battery.

Hell the pits of Titanic Monarch basically work like an auto checkpoint reloader.
 

I Wanna Be The Guy

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Apr 4, 2013
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If all bottom-less pits have to be clearly marked, does that mean almost every platformer released over the past 30+ years should be considered unplayable?

I know I'm being hyperbolic here, but c'mon.
Can you really not see the difference? For real? You have to clearly mark what is different. If you put deaths pits all over the place and train the player that a pit will lead to death more often than not, then no. In that case what you do is mark what is NOT a pit of death. Like a trail of coins in Mario to show it's safe to drop for example.

In Sonic Mania deaths pits need to be marked and clearly shown because they are NOT the norm. The game trains you that going down simply leads to a different path, and you're often rewarded for it. Have a clear message to the player when something is different to the norm. It's that simple.
 

MrBadger

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Dec 5, 2013
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I could always tell pits apart from lower routes. The general rule of thumb is that if you're at the bottom of the screen and there's nowhere for the camera to scroll down to, it's a pit. This isn't like Advance 2 where you'd just find yourself get flung into a pit with no warning.
 

Frenzy-kun

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Dec 29, 2016
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If all bottom-less pits have to be clearly marked, does that mean almost every platformer released over the past 30+ years should be considered unplayable?

I know I'm being hyperbolic here, but c'mon.
No, they are not. As well as mania is still very playable. But improvements can be made. The difference between difficulty and frustration is usually related to the information. If the player fails because of lack of information it's game's fault. If the player fails having all the required information it's their own fault.
 

StarCreator

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I could always tell pits apart from lower routes. The general rule of thumb is that if you're at the bottom of the screen and there's nowhere for the camera to scroll down to, it's a pit. This isn't like Advance 2 where you'd just find yourself get flung into a pit with no warning.
Yeah, this is what's really confusing me. It's subtle, sure, but the camera ends up at a different position if you're literally at the bottom of the map. And if you're in doubt, you can try moving the camera downwards by holding Down for a bit. There's even a bit in Hydrocity where this is done automatically for cutscene purposes (though I sort of wish there was a separate looking-down animation for that because as it is you just sort of inexplicably crouch for no reason).
 

Boy Wander

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Oct 20, 2012
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Practical advice in every platformer, let alone any Sonic game: look before you leap
The difference being that you don't really get the chance in a Sonic game. Quite often items are in areas where you effectively need to take a leap of faith to find them. There's no effective signposting as such.
 
No, they are not. As well as mania is still very playable. But improvements can be made. The difference between difficulty and frustration is usually related to the information. If the player fails because of lack of information it's game's fault. If the player fails having all the required information it's their own fault.
How much information does the player actually require?

Sonic Mania was designed in the spirit of the 16-bit titles, all of which had bottom-less pits and no flashing red arrows to indicate as such.