Keeping it minimal has always been good for the series. A bit of 'here this happened, now go fast' is ok, I agree.
Yes and they were cool back in 1993 when CD technology was new and wow we could have animated videos in our games. They haven't aged well, plus they weren't nearly enough of a payoff for the absoludicrous *hell* that the special stages were.
Not to mention there was no save/level select like Sonic 3, meaning you had to do all of them on the same run.
Anyway, on the topic of Farces, I think I'll steer clear of it unless I hear good things about the gameplay,
wasn't Mania's Phantom Ruby also naturally occurring? Because here it's implied that Dr. Robotnik has been making the damned things and leaving them lying around, no sign of Mania's Robotnik or Heavy King either, despite Classic Sonic being in the game.