Developer – Headcannon, PagodaWest Games
Publisher – Sega
Platforms – Nintendo Switch, PC (8/29), PS4, XBOne
Sonic Mania is good. Like really good. It is the sequel Sonic fans have been wanting to play for years. As we once noted, Sonic is hurt by its lack of ability when it comes to continuing the innovation they will install into a game. Sonic Mania takes us back to the roots of the franchise. Playing in the styles of the first 3 Sonic Sega Genesis games, Sonic Mania delivers as the love letter it was promised to be for its fans.
Using a collection of remastered and brand new levels, the game takes the players across a fun and fitting adventure. Seeming to jump ahead plot position wise of Sonic 4 (meaning that Sonic 4 isn’t the 4th in the timeline or even canon anymore?), the game follows Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles after the events of Sonic & Knuckles. In a race to find a mysterious item called “The Time Stone”, the trio go up against Dr. Eggman and his new hard-boiled heavies through time.
The game plays like… well a traditional 2-D Sonic game. Each stage has a gimmick that doesn’t end being so short lived as to be forgotten but no so long as to be annoying. The perfect mix. The stage design is the apex of what is good in terms of 16-bit gaming. In a era where everyone wants to cash in on nostalgic game design, Sonic Mania shows how to do it like a pro. It is not enough to be retro in art or music. You have to understand the fine intricacies of what makes true 16-bit gaming memorable.
Speaking of music, Sonic Mania hits hard. The level soundtrack songs was great. The menu music had me leaving the game on idle just to fully enjoy it.
I love Sonic Mania, it is the sequel I have been waiting for since I was a kid. For a game that used its fandom to create it, I want more fan team games like it. It shines with the passion of the fans who showed pro level skills to make it.
I want more Sonic Mania’s.
PRO- A return to what made the original games fun
CON- The story could use some work