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Sonic Mania
  opened by paleface at 15:18:09 12/30/23  
  last modified by paleface at 12:22:36 03/07/24  
  paleface [sys=PC; cat=Platformer; reg=NA]
Crashes when tries to go full screen on my system--switched by setting Nvidia control panel to force Vsync ON for it. (Even though Vsync was ON in the game's settings; also, setting Vsync OFF in-game crashes it.)
  paleface 23:38:36 01/18/24
Whoops, video crashing again. Wasn't a vsync thing after all I don't think; removed that program-specific setting in Nvidia Control Panel. Seems I had to set "exclusiveFS=n" in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sonic Mania\Settings.ini.
; NB: Fullscreen Resolution can be explicitly set with values fsWidth and fsHeight
; If not listed, fullscreen will just use the desktop resolution
; NB: Fullscreen Resolution can be explicitly set with values fsWidth and fsHeight
; If not listed, fullscreen will just use the desktop resolution
  paleface 22:58:55 01/20/24

The game's video was freezing on me when task switching or when changing settings in its Video menu until I opened the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sonic Mania\Settings.ini" text file in Notepad (after making a backup copy!) and changed "exclusiveFS=y" to "exclusiveFS=n" on line 11. Now it's fine and I guess running in borderless windowed mode; why there isn't a way to set that in the game's video options screen, I'm not sure!
There's so much pixelated goodness in Sonic Mania--maybe a bit too much? ; D It can be exhausting trying to keep up with it! ^ ^+
The difficulty can be unpredictable; like, you're fine for ages and ages of rampaging along, then suddenly slightly pinched between two innocuous-looking blocks and dead as a doormat. Maybe this is normal in 2D Sonics, I dunno, I'm a noob!
Speaking of which, this made-by-superfans game doesn't explain anything, so I'm a bit lost by certain things so far, like what to do in that 3D-ish "mach" race where I just seemed to be going in circles and maybe gradually speeding up, but timed out? And the blue sphere collecting bonus game gets a tad old. : P
Also I was totally wrong about the fourth and fifth characters shown in the menu, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel--they aren't new to this game, they came along in the 1993 arcade game "SegaSonic the Hedgehog." (And they apparently had cameos in Sonic Generations, which I JUST played through, and which pre-dated Mania. : PP)
I suppose the block-dropping game Sonic and Robotnik play briefly would more properly be called "Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine" than "Puyo Puyo"; DRMBM is the "Westernized version of Puyo Puyo" according to Wikipedia; both games were made by Compile.
It's funny having another Sonic character along with you as an AI. That Tails is always up to wacky shenanigans! ^D ^ I appreciate that there's no control swapping or character tethering or power summoning or any of that guff, just good ol' one-button control! Drop-dash is cool, too.
Used my arcade stick here which was fine but I'll probably go back to DS4--easier to sit with for long periods. ^ _^
I did end up making the entire Tyson Hesse-directed intro animation into a single GIF ; D:
(Animation-optimization-wise it doesn't have a patch on that crazy mysterious Metal Sonic mobius hand-pixel-arted runner GIF I swiped from Selectbutton ; )
(And because I can't stop: the entire Sonic CD animated intro as a GIF (from Sonic Origins): )
(Notes to self: 300px+ width. 8 fps; 6 via .avi if needed for sub-10MB. AVC 7.1.8 from mp4/avi, then Ulead GIF Animator 5 to cut KB & catch stray 1sec frame delays added by AVC.)
  paleface 17:56:47 01/21/24

On a basic physical level, these stages flow reasonably well, but they lack a sense of purpose; the guiding principle seems to be evoking the original Sonic games as hard as possible. It's making me want to play those games--and I haven't played them yet--more than I want to play this over-elaboration of them. So I think I'm gonna skip out on Mania for now and jump over to Sonic Origins.
The leaderboards only let you see the times around your own time. ; P
Ah it's triangle/Y to boost or something in the "catch the UFO" or whatever bonus 3D race stages--won a Chaos Emerald, woo woo. And Circle/B(?) to jump. Not that the game mentioned those controls as far as I was able to notice!
Checked out the other playable characters but not particularly into their abilities; convenient I suppose that I only want to play through Sonic games as Sonic. ^ _^
  paleface 14:32:31 02/01/24
Going to throw in quick hits about other Sonic fan games here, that I probably won't play enough for their own entries:
Tried Sonic Before the Sequel (Sonic Before the Sequel Fixed Edition) and After the Sequel (Sonic After the Sequel Omega) a bit more and yeah, nice-looking but dull stages. Some other Sonic fan games I tried that sorta fell into the same camp were Sonic Axiom, Sonic Island, Sonic 3D in 2D, and Sonic Galactic; I think just about all of them except Galactic used the same sorta dated engine, which may not have been very good at doing interesting AI stuff, because they definitely fell down in that area.
Galactic's two stages aren't super-exciting, they both end in a pretty decent boss fight though. (F4 for full screen.)
Others I tried that I put even less time into 'cause they seemed less my thing were:
Emerald Ties
Neo Sonic Fighters
Sonic 3 Chronicles
Sonic Advance 4 Advanced
Sonic and the Fallen Star (boring stages, annoying boss fights)
Sonic Chaos
Sonic Chaos Remake
Sonic Chrono Adventure (*640* weird) (
Sonic Classic Saturn
Sonic Colors Demastered - poor performance, square levels
Sonic Drift 16 bit
Sonic Encore
Sonic Frenzy Adventure
Sonic Frost
Sonic Heroes Origins
Sonic Island 2
Sonic Outbound
Sonic Quantum Collision
Sonic Quest DX
Sonic SMS Remake 1-3
Sonic Time Twisted
Sonic Transitions (short)
Sonic vs Darkness TNR (also combat demo)
  paleface 13:02:57 03/04/24
Mania's install size is only 202 MB; compare w/ 7.99 GB for Origins. : PP
  paleface 17:43:33 03/05/24
Download added: 04_froze_toes.png (84021 bytes)
  "Freezin', squooshin, etc"

Thought I was gonna bounce again here, just before the half-way mark through the game, I think, after repeat sloggy squishing death (following a triple-phase Metal Sonic boss zone that took me a few replays to pass gargh) but I was forgetting that the Sonic community would have dealt with any such problem long ago and yep they sure did: the Mania Mod Manager
There's a ton of stuff in there but all I needed for now was the "Infinite Lives" checkbox. Now it's just like Sonic Origins! ^ D^
The level design is way overbaked and takes broken stuff from the post-Sonic-1 games without fixing it, but Infy Lives should see me through just about anything short of an exact copy of the Sonic 2 final boss fights. = o
  paleface 12:22:36 03/07/24

Almost quit after getting stuck at an annoying soggy squish death last time but afterwards remembered there was probably a community solution for such inconveniences and yet, the Mania Mod Manager and its "Infinite Lives" cheat ^ _^
So I was able to crack on past that part and heck I just finished the whole second half of the game actually.
There are times, maybe after restarting a stage like three times (happened when I'd restarted a few times in my really bad speed running attempts on stage 1-1, for instance!), where it will just suddenly get jerky, not scrolling smoothly--and usually stay that way until right as Sonic exits the stage.
I haven't had this type of problem in any other game on this PC, even fairly graphically intensive 3D ones, so it sure feels like a bug. (And I'm pretty sure I noticed it in the session prior to installing the Mod Manager.) Jerky Sonic is not fun.
Come to think of it I had to mess with the game's config file and set a full screen option it doesn't even have an in-game GUI for just to get it not to freeze as soon as it would try to go full screen, so that should have been a warning. ; D (Had to set "exclusiveFS=n" in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sonic Mania\Settings.ini.)
Anyway, I got through the ending! Looking at the stages, I'm not really keen on replaying any of them; I don't think this game has very good stage design, crazy as that may sound--the pixels look nice, usually, but the stage layouts themselves are big bloopy shapelessly repetitive things, and a whole lotta the bosses are the usual unintuitive Sonic mash of hurt and hit boxes, and either way too hard in their vagueness or way too easy and broken feeling; the 2nd half of the final boss fight is a hugely anticlimactic cinch, for instance! A couple were okay.
Tried Encore Mode but a) the Mania Mod Manager's infinite lives cheat doesn't work in it =p and b) you gotta do this character collecting/swapping thing to get past certain obstacles (you can't even PAUSE the game to even bring up the pause menu to quit out!!! until you clear the obstacle at the end of the new--Island--first stage ; DDD) and boy am I not into that kind of thing.
I took a few stabs at seeing just how hilariously badly I could rank at time attack for the ol' stage 1, act 1 (30K ; D)--but the leaderboards weren't even showing me the top times (they were blank--or did the top scorers just find some exploit to log in with a null time?), or the times for any of the other characters. And what, no Amy? Pish. Feels like there's some kind of lack of maintenance here. Still it was the one bit of the game I was willing to replay and then that went and got ruined 'cause it turns out there's a SONY music RINGTONE copyright claim on the music for that stage! Sega really doesn't want me to have any fun with Mania I guess. :P
So of the commercial Sonic platformers I've played--the 2D graphics ones on Steam, Generations, and the GBA and NGPC ones, pretty much)--it's Sonic 1--in Sonic Origins--or bust for me! Sonic 1 is nifty.
I tried close to 50 Sonic fan games and settled on 7 that seem like they might be things I could be into, so we'll see how those go. The first two are quite short, I think--like, 10 minutes or so if you know what you're doing (I don't ^ ^j).
The green duck w/ bombs in the western stage was that top-hat magic villain in the form of Bean the Dynamite, whose first appearance was indeed Sonic the Fighters. The pop-gun form was of Fang the Sniper who was in StF but first appeared in Triple Trouble. Oh and the blond bear form is of Bark the Polar Bear, also from StF.
Can't find a mod to let me play as Sonic CD's "Chibi Sonic" sprite (seen very briefly in Mania) through Sonic 1 in Sonic Origins. Well dang.
· SEGA Genesis Classics (PS4)
· Sonic Advance 3 (GBA)
· Sonic Adventure 2: Trial (PS3)
· Sonic Gems Collection (GC)
· Sonic Generations (PC)
· Sonic Heroes (PS2)
· Sonic Mega Collection (GC)
· Sonic Mega Collection Plus (PS2)
· Sonic Origins (PC)
· Sonic the Hedgehog: Pocket Adventure (NGPC)
· Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit (PC)

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