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Old 07-17-2018   #281
Zwip-Zwap Zapony
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Sonic Mania Plus might be out now. I don't know. But "Sonic Mania - Encore DLC" is out now on Steam, at least, and having bought that, Sonic Mania now says Sonic Mania Plus at the title screen.

In addition to that, Sonic Mania Adventures: Part 5 has now been released, which is the last part of Sonic Mania Adventures.


Now, speaking of Sonic Mania Plus/Encore DLC, I have played it on Steam for a little bit (three and a half zones in Encore mode), and while I don't have much to say about the gameplay itself, I do have to say that my least favourite things so far are the "minor" instability (crashing-wise) and the fact that due to the way the "Plus" in "Sonic Mania Plus" is made to appear, the title screen goes on for a few seconds more than before before you're able to go to the main menu. I'm certain that the stability will be improved in the coming days/weeks, though I doubt that the title screen sequence is going to get shorter/quicker.
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Old 07-17-2018   #282
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After watching the fith part of Adventures I took a look at the Steam page and sure enough the Encore DLC was released for 5€. I bought it and played and finished Encore Mode. This Mode is pretty awesome for many reasons.

Not only do the stages have different color palettes the stages themselves have lots of minor tweaks making them slightly harder and feel different. Either that or I just got rusty. The special stages themselves are definitely harder but if you know what you are doing you'll probably beat most of them on first or second try. Switching between the two active characters gives a good variety of options and dying just autoswitches you to the next character instead of restarting from the last checkpoint making the gameplay actually feel less disruptive but also more punishing. Due to the fact that you can only have 5 lives max you can also gain continues in Special Stages, though I never had to use one. Encore Mode is definitely a nice addition and a good change of pace after having played lots of Mania Mode.

Time Attack has also been updated, now you can save replay videos and watch or challenge them (kinda like in SRB2). You can even time trial the encore variants of all stages. However, I am a bit disappointed that you can't play encore variants of the stages in the new competition mode.

The two new characters... I haven't played much as Mighty but oh boy, I'm having way more fun playing as Ray than I should have. Soaring through the air, reaching higher places and gaining speed is lots of fun and I could do that the whole day. It feels like Cape Mario in some way and I ended up playing as him the majority of my Encore Mode playthrough.

The game also got some neat upgrades here and there, all minor like the characters moving their pupils into the direction they're sliding in a solid frozen block in PGZ2 or adding the missing cutscenes which thank god are also now skipable.

Performance wise I had little to no problems. The game crashed once but thats because Steam Beta screwed up and just destroyed itself somehow and also the Music sometimes doesn't go back to full volume after a 1up jingle. I also found a bug in Competition mode similar to my first ever post on this board and my first ever bug report: You have no invincibility uppon respawn and thus you can die the frame you spawn. Why do I keep finding those silly bugs?

Overall I'd say the 5€/USD/whatever are worth the upgrade, both characters as well as Encore Mode esp. add lots of replayability and I still need to sacrifice two of my perfect 99 Lives, 7 Emeralds savegames for Mighty and Ray. I will try to get my hands on a physical release of this game if possible and once I got my hands on a Nintendo Switch.

Edit: I forgot to mention that you now can set game options such as debug mode, sonic ability or & Knuckles mode in savegames as well, it is no longer limited to the no save slot. A welcome change.
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Old 07-18-2018   #283
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I remember nitpicking about Super Sonic not having his own sprites for certain animations. However, they were able for achieve it, and I',m glad for it.

Last edited by Tokyo; 07-18-2018 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 07-18-2018   #284
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I have to say, I didn't really feel much of a difficulty spike in Encore Mode. The hardest part about it had to be seeking out the special stages, and I think I failed them two or three times at most (though they're definitely more challenging than the older ones, in fairness). Also, once you get some power momentum, it's pretty easy to keep yourself at an advantage by trying to swap to optimal characters and using the bonus stages to obtain shields (I was playing Mighty/Tails a lot of the time, for a combat-exploration playstyle). I really don't think I even lost a character up until Oil Ocean, and that was mainly out of carelessness. I dunno -- maybe that says more about my own skill level than anything else. Now, if you couldn't pick up fallen rings when hit -- that'd be a challenge.

Anyway, Mighty is too damn fun.
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Old 07-20-2018   #285
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I’ve actually been having more fun with Ray than Mighty. Mighty is a great tank for bosses while ray is fun for literally skipping parts of the maps with his gliding technique. I was frustrated at first until I got the hang of his ability.

I still have yet to get an emerald in encore mode. I feel like the starpost special stages would have been better in Mania while having the blue spheres become a total side game on its own.

Pinball special stage gets boring after you hit your 3rd continue because you got your character in a “sweet spot,” where you can walk away while you character keeps hitting the bumper and racking up points.

I’ve experienced two glitches so far. I was gliding with Ray when both happened.

First glitch, I was gliding and somehow went into a zoom tube in Chemical Plant and got thrown down into the pit but I didn’t die. Had to restart.

The second glitch happened on Mirage Saloon Act 1. When I landed on the train I glided past all the enemies and landed in the revolver. Then, it just repeated the same cutscene from the beginning of the map but nothing happened. Sonic just kept flying the plane lol.

Overall, I’m really digging the update! I actually didn’t even know who Ray was beforehand so I had to do some research.
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Old 07-21-2018   #286
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All right, so I beat the game with all emeralds yesterday, and overall, I really loved the update! Ray as a whole is just so much fun to use, and Mighty's Shield Jump makes bosses like Hydrocity's a literal joke since he can just no sell basically everything by jumping. The character cycling is definitely the highlight of this mode, it's pretty satisfying having all five characters under your belt and switching them out for certain situations.

As for the special stages, the difficulty for those really stepped up compared to Mania mode. I personally couldn't beat them until I said fuck it and abused the mach glitch.

Spoiler: Endgame stuff
I do have to say I'm really fucking disappointed there wasn't an Encore Egg Reverie zone, especially when the normal ending seemed to imply there was.


All in all, I'd say Encore Mode was pretty solid. I've yet to use the new characters in Mania mode, but that's something to do I guess.
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Old 07-21-2018   #287
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I loved the character cycling mechanic! It was so much fun literally not knowing what character was going to pop up whenever I hit one of the monitors. I dig that sort of thing; reminds me of the character diceroll script for SRB2. I smiled so hard when I figured out they removed lives in favor of it. It makes it so that you're earning your characters back rather than arbitrary lives, which is really cool. I don't even know why, I just love it.

The special stages were definitely a bit harder, I have to agree with that. Finding the entrances was a lot harder too. I'll definitely have to replay the mode a few times if I want to beat them all.

The only glitch I found is that turning super as Mighty fucks with his palette. Otherwise I'm a big fan of the update, and I definitely think it's worth the little bit of extra money if you're on the fence about it!
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Old 07-22-2018   #288
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Spoiler: Minor ending spoiler

Just a minor nitpick but they have re-used the same soundfile for the Mania Mode endings of Mighty and Ray. You can hear Tails flying even though he is not on the scene, only Mighty and Ray alongside Sonic are. Nothing gamebreaking but lazy and irritating if you ask me.
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Old 08-21-2018   #289
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Dunno what the rules are about bumping in a slow forum so here goes...

I held out until I got a switch for Sonic Mania and then waited a little longer for Plus to come so I could get the physical version. The sheer joy of playing through it all was just like when I replayed S3K for the first time in a decade last summer. At first I thought the recycled levels were going to feel rehashed, but I loved how they were remixed.

Since I jumped straight from the vanilla game into Encore mode, I was a little disappointed that there weren't more pronounced stage design changes, but the character swap feature is pretty cool. The stupid special stages drive me crazy though. Getting all gold in blue spheres wasn't so hard, but I had a hard enough time on the vanilla UFOs. I have a feeling it'll be a while before I see the true ending of Encore...

Spoiler:
...even if I abuse FBZ1 to get the emeralds...
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Old 08-21-2018   #290
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Quote:
The stupid special stages drive me crazy though. Getting all gold in blue spheres wasn't so hard, but I had a hard enough time on the vanilla UFOs.
I have the opposite problem personally; I felt like the vanilla special stages were pretty easy, but gold on the blue spheres just didn't feel worth my time and effort.

The encore special stages are definitely easier if you've played the normal special stages a fair amount already. Encore really demands that you've gotten good at taking jump shortcuts and juggling yourself onto the item boxes. Personally, I was able to beat most of the encore stages the first time around (the first and last stages took me at least a couple tries), but I'll admit they had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.


Quote:
I have a feeling it'll be a while before I see the true ending of Encore...
Trust me, you're not missing anything. There's almost no difference between the two endings.
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