The WORST Sonic Mania stage.

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Now I love Sonic Mania. It is amazing and I just can't put it down, but some of the design choices are just bad. There are parts that just break it for me and make me feel like I got cheap shot. Now even the worst Sonic Mania stage is still a blast once you get through the iffier spots. Honestly this is just me stating my opinion while I put off the Sonic Mania review because it's going to be the exact same as all the others. (Also for those waiting on the next ARMS with a side of salt tell Nintendo to release Lola Pop)

So we will be taking three different stages and deciding which is the worst Sonic Mania stage in my opinion! Here we go!

The three stages in the running are Oil Ocean, Metallic Madness, and Titanic Monarch. First up, Oil Ocean.

Now when I first played through this stage I had a LOT of problems with it. The first act was fine. Easy boss fight and an overall OK course. Act 2 on the other hand. Where to start? Oh I know. The time limit. You have to rush through sections so you don't rapidly lose rings from the heat. Now the ten minute time limit is already stupid but now it's even shorter and it punishes exploration and searching for extra rings. 

Of course they do put the lever required to reverse the heat all over the place but in those areas where there isn't one, it's obnoxious to either lose a bunch of rings and get killed by an enemy or miss a 1 Up because you rushed yourself. The time limit hinders the level and the most confusing part in my opinion is the shields. Why doesn't the bubble shield or the fire shield have any effect on repelling the heat. I expect the FIRE SHIELD to protect you from melting to death but it doesn't. All it does it set the oil on fire which is merely visual and doesn't affect the gameplay in the slightest.

Then the boss. I hate this boss. It's 80% waiting and 20% actually getting a chance to hit the bitch, and even then I always feel like I got cheap shot in some way. Weather it's randomly dying when attacking Eggman head on or losing all my rings because they're irrecoverable if you get hit during the part where you can actually deal damage.

On top of this you're just waiting. Waiting for the squid to exit the water, waiting for the platforms to return, waiting for the tentacle to shoot lasers, waiting for the squid to start retreating so you can damage the two random orb thingies again!

Seriously what's up with the waiting in a game that makes you go fast. It doesn't help that the ten limit time limit will probably get you on your first try. Thank god the heat isn't a problem in this battle or I'd make this the worst stage.

That's right, it's not the worst. The first act being largely fine and the fact that the submarine sections are at least mildly fun keeps it from only being the second worst.

Now it's time for Metallic Madness. The main reason this stage is on the list is a problem that plagues the first act. Crushing you. Tons of sections will throw you into a wall and kill you, it once again punishes you for going fast. But this time they built the entire boss around the annoying mechanic!

Egghead's crushing you being a BOSS BATTLE is just bad level design. They could've used so many other ideas! Like having the boss transition from the background to the foreground like half of the level! That would've been pretty cool and generally make it another fun boss fight. The use of crappy collision is bad enough but it's also a one hit kill even with invincibility frames. It promotes even more waiting and the second phase when you think you're done and get cheap shot on your last life because you weren't paying attention! That's just evil!

What saves this stage from being more just annoying is the second act which uses a bunch of different gimmicks and makes a pretty darn fun boss battle, even if it's easy as all get out. It's number three on the list mainly because it's only a part of the first act and not a whole act. And that act 2 music. I swear they made it a law that all act 2 music is 100 times better than act 1!

So it's pretty clear who's the worst. Titanic Monarch. Now let me tell you why. Act 1 relies heavily on these stupid ball thingies that take a bit to learn how to platform with. They're just clunky overall and the fact that an entire platforming section is devoted to them wouldn't be the worst thing, except it has a stupid shooting thing and your main way of finishing it is blocked by a ring box. The whole thing is tedious and wastes my time. The second part is the fact that BOTH ACTS use the crushing mechanic, except now it's long stretches of rising and falling platforms that will kill you with one wrong move due to crappy collision detecting.

The fact that they took the one reason Metallic Madness was in the running and brought it back for BOTH ACTS is just ridiculous. For the most part Act 1 is tedious and eats up my lives with the onslaught of obnoxious enemies. Oh the enemies. First there's the guys who shoot off weird seeds and you have to run away or murder it. On it's own it's fine but when I'm trying to do other things it's just obnoxious. 

Then there's the electricity segments. If you don't have a lightning shield you will HATE these! Especially the fan guy who will blow you into it and prevent you from getting another life even though it's the stage leading up to the final boss and you need all the lives you can get! But I digress.

There's the pig bots which are only there to get in the way of booster pads and take away all your hard earned rings. And then there's the moving platforms, which show up in act two and display the terrible collision detection! Also more waiting! 

The only positive I can find is that Act 2 has some fun concepts for the most part and its music is AMAZING! Notice how I don't include the boss, that's because it's clear the final boss and the stage were designed separately. The final boss takes advantage of NO mechanics found in Titanic Monarch so it's safe to say the Final Boss is separate from the worst stage.

Well that's about everything. I know I seemed really salty but can you blame me? I died so may times I had to come back over the course of two days to beat it just because I got so frustrated. I really love this game but I had some baggage to unload. Now I can get into the better parts of the game. And maybe review it. Maybe! IDK it's like BotW, (which I'm never reviewing) it's kinda irrelevant now and wouldn't add anything since it'll just be rehashing what everyone else has said.

Thanks for reading! Bye!

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