Hmm, Phantasy Star Online 2. A fun game pre-Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis. Now that Phantasy Star Online 2: New genesis has some more content, I figured I would talk about it again. And another reason to blog about games and talking about Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis is very nice.
Looking back, I never made a review for this game, and while back then I love talking about the game. I think I can give some thoughts on this MMORPG.
What’s Phantasy Star Online 2: new genesis?
Phantasy Star Online 2: new genesis and not to be confused with Phantasy Star Online 2, is an open-world MMORPG. And I will say that in Phantasy Star Online 2: new genesis current state, the game is nothing like Phantasy Star Online 2 the base game.
New genesis is made for the casual players who found base Phantasy Star Online 2 to be too hard. And listen, I get it. A lot of players as they say, “sweat” in that game. And I get it you are a master at Phantasy Star Online 2.
It is good for sega and casual players for making this change. It’s how I see it.
So, it’s time. I have been meaning to make a review on this DLC. In fact, it was not gonna happen but thanks to my kind Best friend, SBCz who got me the DLC on steam. I was able to play it and give my thoughts on it sooner than later.
However, Stardew Valley and Clicker Heroes 2 have been taking up my time. But that aside, I have played the Sonic Mania DLC and beaten it. I am ready to give my opinion on it.
The DLC “Encore mode” takes place after forces (Assuming), Sonic returns as the Phantom ruby flies off, and Sonic gives chase to find Ray, and Mighty trapped in a capsule. Only to find out later, that Heavy Magician is back in action, and King Heavy use the ruby to send the player back in time, undoing the damage on the hard boiled heavies.
That’s it, really.
So, in encore mode. The game adds “new” level layout to encore mode to give the user some new to playthrough, as well as a new time of day for each zone. Special Stages rings have been hidden in new areas.
I really do feel that encore mode tries to encourage players to explore the level, high and low to find these Special stage rings. The Special stages are brand new and offer a challenge for the player
Encore gets rid of lives, rather, you can have Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Ray, and Mighty as make-shift lives, which can be found in Special Character icon monitors or the pinball bonus stage (50 rings at a checkpoint)
You can switch between the characters by hitting a Switch box (Seen above). Or if you wish to use the A.I controlled character, you can press the action button. The idea is neat, but other than, a new mode, new special stages, and minor changes to suit Mighty and ray’s moves.
DLC doesn’t have a whole lot to offer current players. New players of Sonic Mania will get something out of it. If you been playing Mania since it first came out, you will spot the minor edits to the zones.
Bosses are left unchanged and are still the same. Which I felt the mode could have needed the change to keep players on their toes. It would have been nice, at least…
Only two bosses got a change, one was a major change, while the other was very minor. These changes were from the new Sonic Mania patch, which is free.
The “true” ending, while is neat to watch and good to unlock, it was very underwhelming to me. Go through a minor edit version of each zone, get the emeralds, for an ending that could have been bit better. Won’t ruin it for others.
I want to talk about the level layout and time of day for the stages. I just want to nitpick here…
Green Hill at sunset looks nice, and it does make green hill fun to go through for the 100th time
Then you look at a well made rom hack that started it all. Megamix 3.0
Encore green hill is just sunset hill. And most of the zone changes are minor. Some zones do have new shortcuts added just for encore mode.
My final thoughts
For the new Sonic fan who is new to Sonic Mania, and wants more from the game. Sonic Mania will have what you in Sonic Mania Plus.
If you been playing Sonic Mania since it came out, it might be for you. But don’t expect much. It’s 5 dollars, after all. Assuming, you own Sonic Mania, of course. The DLC was pretty fun, but after 2 playthroughs, the magic wore off of me.
I tend to beat games pretty fast, so, this could be the reason why encore mode feels like it could have done so much more, but didn’t. The DLC, for the most part, is great. That part is new special stages and Mighty, and Ray as new characters.
The level layout for the encore, in my opinion, is disappointing. I understand that it’s meant to be for Ray and mighty to use their moves to get to new areas, but after Green Hill…Sunset hill. Mighty and Ray fall into the same trap as Knuckles and Tails, that they feel like Sonic but have a different move.
The level layouts, later on, feel unchanged. it’s like I’m playing without the DLC. I know some levels do have areas where Mighty and Ray can use their moves, but I rarely saw them.
One level felt like it was new. That was the encore Mirage Saloon. This stage was fun. to play as any character. They all had a use here in act 1. Act 2 is the same as others.
Encore mode did offer a good time, and I had fun exploring stages for special stage rings. Again, $5 for DLC. I was hoping for too much. I wanted this DLC to be something else. One can wish.
The DLC adds the following:
Mighty and Ray as new characters
Harder Special Stages in encore
New ending in encore
“New” Level layout in Encore mode
Maybe something I missed?
Do you want to buy Sonic Mania Plus?
Again, if you own Sonic Mania already, the DLC is 5 dollars.
Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball opens up with the game showing off Dr.Robotnik new base, “Veg-O-Fortress” The base of Dr.Robotnik’s robo operations, and much more. Our heroes, Sonic and Tails catch wind of the news, and set out to stop and shut down Dr.Robotnik’s base.
But as they get close to the “Veg-O-Fortress” Sonic and Tails get shot down before they can do anything, Sonic jumps into the water, under the base which allows him to sneak in with Robotnik assuming he got rid of Sonic. Tails flies off to repair the plane. While Sonic is inside. he must deal with the traps, robots, saving others and animals from being roboticized, and dealing with the “Veg-O-Fortress” Pinball defense system in order to get to DR.Robotnik to stop him in his tracks.
After working his way up from Toxic Caves to the machine, Dr.Robotnik finds out that Sonic is alive, and close to stopping him. He takes off in his spaceship to escape Sonic but Sonic managed to catch up and have his “final” battle with Dr.Robotnik and ending the game as Sonic and Tails fly away as Dr.Robotnik blows up in his base.
Fun fact. Sonic spinball has characters based on the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog show.
With the story out of the way, it’s time to talk about the game itself. Sonic The hedgehog Spinball, is a pinball based game that has more focus on Pinball than platforming, more often then not, you will be at the mercy of each table and the gimmicks you must use to get the chaos emeralds to open up the boss room.
With this being a spin-off game, Sonic’s ground control is very basic but Sonic’s main control focus has been placed into Pinball controls, and for the most part, they work well enough to get the job done.
The game has 4 stages, I should talk about them. Might be a good idea.
Toxic caves is the first stage. Our cave-like sewers themed stage
The main gimmick of this stage is the minecart, It is used to get the other emeralds.
I feel that Toxic caves is a pretty okay first stage to help the player get used to the controls and learn of the game’s “cause and effect” This will get the player ready for the later stages.
As the name says, “Toxic caves” is a cave filled with toxic waste, Barrels full of toxic waste, and mutated animals affected by the waste
When starting off, Sonic is at the base of Veg-O-Fortress where you must uncork the drain to open pipes that block access to the second level where the toxic waste lies with a empty Barrel that is used to get a Emerald
However, should the player get all the emeralds in Toxic caves, the boss room will be open, and the only time this happens is Toxic Caves, the barrel in the toxic waste will be moving, in a sense, removing a “safety net”
Toxic caves has non-linear ways on how you can get to the top, from clearing out pipes that are blocked with barrels holding toxic waste or using a worm loops to get to the top.
Getting to the boss room, you are up against Scorpius, a easy first boss. It will shoot or rather, drip out toxic smile to knock you back. Just jump inside to damage Scorpius and that is the fight really.
After beating the first Table, it’s off to the bonus table, where you can save SATAM characters from Dr.Robotnik’s capsules. Again, “Cause and effect” is the game here. Free all the friends to be able to damage Dr.Robotnik
If, you win or lose, you will still head off to the second stage “Lava Powerhouse”
Lava Powerhouse is the second stage.
Our Lava / fire themed stage
Off the bat, the first table in lava powerhouse offers no safe area to stand on. There are 3 ways to get to the top table. Bust open the door by using Sonic, Using the cannon to launch at the door, hitting the 4 Targets to skip the first room or try to get past the enemy above the cannon.
For the most part, you will be breaking corks and using Steam to get the emeralds.
Once you get all the emeralds, you will face the “Roboiler” A somewhat pretty fair boss. You goal is to get inside the roboiler to attack the heads. Each head takes 5 hits.
You also have steam acting as a make-shift barrier to keep you from getting inside, and the steam powered platforms that will drop you if you don’t jump inside.
The Roboiler has some strong knockback, where if you hit the heads, Sonic will fly out
The only real danger is falling down the center of the Boss area, which will trigger a mini game to escape the lava, however, this can be done 2 or 3 times before the chain breaks.
But The Roboiler and Lava Powerhouse offers a fair challenge
After beating a boss, you are given a chance at a bonus game again. After Lava Powerhouse is a bonus stage, where you must hit the odd looking Dr.Robotnik’s teeth before you can clear the bonus stage.
After clearing the bonus stage, the next stage is “The Machine”
Here is where things start ramping up with “The Machine” Now there are 5 emeralds, and “cause and effect” has a “bigger” role here. Once you start the stage. there are new gimmicks here. power chambers and flipper catch
There are moving wheels that hold a emerald, and to get said emerald, you must use the power chamber to stop a moving wheel to allow Sonic to get the emerald.
For the flipper catch, you have to hold Sonic with the flipper, and you will go up. With this flipper catch you need to use it to get a emerald hidden in a chamber.
The only real danger is the gears at the start of the “The Machine” Once you get higher up you will be fine.
Once you get all the emeralds, you will find the boss “Veg-O Machine” And power for Veg-O-Fortress. To take it out, you must destroy the tubes connected to the Veg-O-Machine in order to take out the boss
Once you have Done that. All you must do is go inside the Veg-O-Machine to destroy it.
And Like always but however, this is the “last” bonus stage that features A capsule, and Scratch from the AOSTH. To win, you need to get rid of the Scratch’s clones and break open the capsule to win.
A cut-scene is showed after the bonus stage, Dr.Robotnik is getting away and it leads up to showdown…
Showdown is the last stage
Showdown is a lava themed based level
No gimmicks to get emeralds. Showdown is all “cause and effect”. To go here, you must active this, To get this emerald, you must hit these switches to destroy blocks blocking the emerald. The game spikes in difficulty is high
2 of the 5 emeralds work on cause and effect
Showdown, is the stage where you will game over or come close to a game over. Mainly due to knock back from the table’s bumpers
But after getting all the emeralds, it’s the final fight with Dr.Robotnik but it’s a easy one but all of them are easy if, I’m being honest.
Dr.Robotnik needs 10 hits to take out but he has socks and claws blocking the way. Lucky for us, there is a huge button that disables his “traps” And 10 hits later, Dr.Robotnik is done
Sonic is saved by Tails and they escape while Dr.Robotnik meets the lava.
I should talk about rings.
Rings, as you no doubt seen. This game has rings, what do they do? Nothing special. If, you collect all the rings in a stage, you unlock another Bonus Stage to play. It has no relevance here for this “revisit”
Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball, is your ok Sonic spin-off game that gets the job done. While I didn’t run into issues I had with the game before. Pinball is not my cup of tea. And spinball is a ok pinball game, and there are much better pinball games to play
Showdown does still have it’s issues and I feel that Sonic was not meant to be a “pinball” due to how fast he goes, that sometimes, you will clip into a area sooner then planned or fall through the flippers.
I have mixed feeling about Sonic Spinball. The game has “good ideas” that work on paper but feels rushed or is was rushed. But I will try to leave this on a good note.
I do love the AOSTH and SATAM throwbacks and the art style but the music is not too bad.
Do you like Pinball and Sonic?
If so, this may be the game for you. It’s the best of both worlds
Only like Pinball but don’t care for Sonic?
Then it may not be a fun game for you. :P
Just don’t like either?
No point in getting it.
Again, I’m no pinball lover, and Sonic Spinball does not do it for me. It’s a ok game that gets the job done.
If you want to pick up Spinball for yourself or a friend, just go here and give someone the best/worst gift for Xmas for 5 bucks. Wait till it goes on sale, it’s not worth 5 bucks, maybe 3 bucks at best, for the lack of content.
Sonic spinball at best is a okay game to play, and at it’s worst is an unfinished Sonic spin-off game that leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s lack of content.