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Concepts in Mania That You Absolutely Love

Cornelius Fudge

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We recently had a thread to contain all of the concepts that we disliked, so I thought it was only fair to include which things that we didn't just like, but absolutely loved. I'll start.

1. Press Garden Zone, particularly Act 1. I just finished redoing Act 1 countless times just a few minutes ago and I just can't get over how Christian Whitehead and his team managed to implement the pulleys in away that did guide the user through specific platforming sections to rack up momentum without literally holding your hand the entire time. There was a level of interactivity within those pulleys that actually encouraged me to actually experiment with them to see the many possibilities that I can do with them. I literally didn't even care about speed running the stage, I just wanted to see what I can actually accomplish when I actually did use the pulleys. We definitely need more dynamic game mechanics like this in the Modern games that does enable us to obtain speed and speed through certain platforming sections without having to sloppily use many, many springs to do it.

2. Another thing I love is how enormous and expansive the stages feel which encourages me to replay the stages and encounter something new. I didn't even mind how massive Flying Battery Zone is because I actually discovered new things through each rerun which actually made me rethink how I would play these stages and it literally became one of my favorite zones in the game thus far because of it.

So, what concepts did you guys absolutely love in Sonic Mania?



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The new zones. Especially Press Garden

I love them so much

The colors are sooooooooo good, the character sprites fit so well...

This game is so gorgeous.

Also Flying Battery Act 2 has rain

You don't know

I have been waiting for decades for a 2D raining zone

Is finally here


And also I love how the zones are so big that you go to the left a lot, something that platformers never do much.

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There's always something new going on, regardless of what stage you play. This comes in spades for better or worse but mostly for the better. 

The game is a very fresh experience that feels like the games I played but remixed, you know? And then on top of this are the brand new zones and all of the new bosses and returning bosses in fresh circumstances as well as all of the references to everything that makes Sonic shine with its storied history as a pop culture icon among casual and hardcore Sonic fans alike. 

And I really like what happened with Oil Ocean being a highly flammable zone, bringing its level theme to the forefront and using it as far as they could. The smog gimmick works so well I'm surprised they got away with getting to have that. 

Also, can we just appreciate how some of the levels have some fairly pinball table like designs? Particularly the level design in Metallic Madness Act 2 with its Foreground to Background switching? That surprised me by not only doing one cool gimmick but then having a lot of the pinball table set up aesthetic and even layout in spite of its lack of flippers. 

And on that note? I'm glad that Knuckles has divergent paths in his campaign. I've waited for multiple playable characters with their own stories to return for years. That's legit something I miss from the older 3D Sonics and Sonic 3 and Knuckles. To see that kind of thought come back was much appreciated and I hope this carries over into future Sonic games. Thank you for satiating my Mania, Pagoda West, Christian Whitehead, and Headcannon. 

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I love that Infinte, our new dark edgey villain, first act in a Sonic game is to give Eggman's robots a silly hat and costume.

All the television injokes and Oil Ocean exploding is awesome too. Good to see them having fun with the level concepts.

Oh, and speaking of Joseph's decade long quest for rain in a 2d Sonic game, Sky High zone says hi.

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Eh, I dunno if this topic is warranted that much, to be honest. While you can make an argument that the dislike is stuff not really being talked about, the stuff people love is all over the place in the topics discussing it generally. 

In any case, this topic should really be marked for spoilers. As should the dislike one, for that matter. Surprised that one wasn't edited sooner. 

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Don't know if it's really a concept so much as a byproduct of the team behind the game and potential of current technology, but I adore how much character was packed into this game. I was constantly finding myself surprised and amused as I made my way through Mania. Characters are incredibly emotive (Robotnik's animations are just the best, and Knuckles has some really amazing ones too), references don't feel overbearing, reused mechanics compliment the levels they were implemented in well, Hesse's animation is so fluid and fun.

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