Sonic Mania has released today and fans are going wild, the game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and later PC. This is what I thought of it being a long time Sonic fan since the early 90s.
Sonic The Hedgehog in the 90s was the mascot of SEGA and I’m glad it was, it was a 2d platformer unlike no other due to the speed that no other game character could meet in that era. The levels were full of twists and turns, sometimes the screen couldn’t catch up with Sonic’s speed and that’s for me why it was always better than Mario. Fast forward a few years and the Sonic games have definitely had mixed receptions, with the likes of Sonic 06 unfortunately not doing so well, to Sonic Generations restoring faith in the franchise. A long comes the small team of fans to again restore the series to its best with Sonic Mania, bringing back the 16bit Sonic that everyone had in their house hold, remixing some classic levels and adding new ones of their own. This SEGA is what we wanted all along and this game proves that this small team can take Sonic and restore him to his former glory if that even needs doing because Sonic Mania for me is the perfect sequel to Sonic 3 and Knuckles, sorry Super Mario Oddysey and Crash Bandicoot but Sonic Mania is the winner for me.
Onto gameplay, it’s what we mostly saw on the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis but extended, fleshed out and it works unbelievably well, more obstacles have been added, more enemies, a huge variation in boss types and huge levels. Think Sonic CD’s huge levels but the classics we all know and love plus some new levels which are just as good as old ones. The speed is there, the chaos, it captures the nostalgia perfectly and I don’t think a single change could make it better than it already is. Not only that but I didn’t run into a single bug, that’s how games were designed in the past, we didn’t have patches, it was either fine or broken with no fixes. Sonic Mania had no issues at all. The bonus levels are back, one is the old Sonic 3 sphere levels which still pose a challenge as you progress and the emerald bonus levels are a new chase the UFO style game and it works well, I enjoyed it.
Graphics wise, the game takes us back to the 16 bit era but so much more detail is included in every level, the old levels like Green Hill Zone and Chemical Zone have been remastered almost to have a lot more going on in the background which is great to look at if you aren’t going too fast. The characters sprites have been enhanced a little to be more animated, the bosses are so different in each level, I won’t go into spoilers but these are some of the best Robotnik bosses since the early days. The audio feels the same as the old SEGA’s it really takes you back, you also have remastered level music to listen to as you traverse the levels.
Sonic Mania was a true blast from the past and also provided really good new segments of gameplay to keep it fresh rather than just being a remake. SEGA stated we need to see how well Sonic Mania does to see where Sonic needs to go in the future, well SEGA the answer is you need these guys to create the future Sonic games because Sonic Mania has taken him back to his glory days and the internet is going wild at how good it is. 2D classic is the way to go. I do look forward to Sonic Forces though it looks like a true Sonic Generations sequel in which everyone wanted after the first title, I have faith that Sonic Team will make it a really interesting game especially with character customisation. If you have money and you like Sonic, get it now seriously.