Sonic Mania! Sonic returns to his 2D roots! Finally!

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sonic-series

#1

Sonic Mania has been announced! A brand new 2D Sonic game which brings Sonic back to his roots. Along with brand new zones, we will also get reimagined levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD! There will also be new bosses to go along with them!

Finally, we might just have a great Sonic game on our hands; with the help of Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, the same developers that brought us the Sonic CD remaster. I guess these days it does take fans with a passion for the franchise, to bring things back to life! I can be proud to be a Sonic fan again in Spring 2017!

Sonic Mania Gameplay

Sonic Mania - Green Hill (Off Screen)

Sonic Mania - Studiopolis Zone (Off Screen)

3 Music Tracks from Sonic Mania (Soundtrack)

There is also a sequel to Sonic Generations coming out much later on the NX and other platforms as well:


#2

Here is the entire first act of both stages:


#3

Sonic Mania looks like a great nostalgia trip while also adding some small amounts of freshness to the gameplay. I’ll be sure to pick this one up.

However, it does feel like a very safe title. Sega could have made a Sonic 5 with the mechanics of the Megadrive Sonic games while updating the visuals and progressing the gameplay. I get the impression that Sega is being risk averse while testing the waters to see what direction it can take this series in.


#4

I think its greatness will be measured by how many “new” levels are in the game. I don’t really care for the old re-imagined levels (Green Hill Zone again!). I had enough of a nostalgia trip in Generations. Studiopolis Zone looks really imaginative; making me feel the other new levels will probably be very surreal and on the right track.

It seems like the physics are miles and leaps ahead of Sonic 4. I wonder, besides intuitive level design and varied new power-ups what else could Sonic Mania offer which would progress the gameplay? I would have preferred no old levels at all though.


#5

It’s up on Steam and Humble Store. Available 16 August. :anjou_happy:


#6

I’m definitely getting it for my Switch. That portability will be a plus! Also, the cutscnes are going with the Sonic CD style look, for Sonic. That is awesome!


#7

The special stages have just been announced and they look fun as hell. Similar to how they were in Sonic CD but with a lot of the frustration taken out and the mechanics refined! Basically, you chase a single ufo this time, containing a Chaos Emerald; all the while, collecting rings to extend your time, and getting blue orbs to increase your speed!

Oh, and the blue sphere bonus stages from Sonic 3 are back as well, accessed when you run by a check point! People are theorizing completing these might unlock extras!


#8

Pffffff, they didn’t even finish Sonic 4 (we only got ep. 1 and 2? What happened to ep. 3?)! If Sonic Mania succeeds and I think it will, I hope the Sonic Mania team makes a real Sonic 4 or 5…


#9

Super excited about Mania! I almost never pre-order, but made an exception for this via the Humble Store.


#10

The new special stages look good. I like the way they’ve mixed elements from the Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD special stages together.

The Sonic 3 & Knuckles special stages now appear to be bonus stages, which is cool. I remember having a lot of fun with these, as every pre-1994 Megadrive game would unlock a different stage when locked onto the top of Sonic & Knuckles. Since I owned the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge, renting a non Sonic game would often have the added bonus of unlocking a new variation of the special stage. I guess Sonic & Knuckles used the data on the inserted cartridge to help generate the special stage’s layout and colours; procedurally generated gameplay, Megadrive style.

I think it’s more likely that we’ll see a sequel to Sonic Mania since that wouldn’t require the development of a whole new engine. If Sega release a new 2D game with updated graphics, I’d rather it be given a new name rather than being called Sonic 5. I’d rather forget that Sonic 4 exists.


#11

I agree. And I hope after Sonic Mania, the team makes a true Sonic the Hedgehog 5 with unrestricted freedom and all original stages!

Damn, it’s almost here…I can’t wait for the mania!!


#12

Did anyone pick up one of the console versions of Sonic Mania? If so… any thoughts?

The PC version, which I’ve preordered, is not far away at all. I’m quite looking forward to it. It’s the highest rated Sonic game in fifteen years.


#13

Yeah, I got it for the Switch. It actually is the best Sonic game in years! But that’s because it stays faithful to what made sonic so exhilarating, charming, and exciting in the first place:

Pros:

-Correct momentum, speed, and physics

-Balanced level design incorporating platforming and speed

-Imaginative level design

-Fun but challenging special stages

-Super Sonic!

-Fun boss battles

-Story is told without any text or dialogue just like the Genesis games! With charming characters who express themselves without having to resort to god awful humor or kindergarten jokes. (I’m looking at you Sonic Lost World!)

-Sonic has his cool, care free attitude and original personality back again!

What’s new?:

-There are 4 new levels, each well designed, full of charm, and great music.(Press Garden is my favorite!)

-The old levels’ second acts are completely new, interesting and fun to play (especially Chemical Plant Act 2 and its boss!)

-You can play sphere bonus states at checkpoints to win medals and unlock bonus content!

-Sonic has a move called the drop dash that insures you wont abruptly lose your momentum

Cons:

-To many old stages (8 old and only 4 new, might bother some people)

Conclusion and rating:

So, yeah this game was a trip down memory lane while also incorporating something new. So as you can see Solo, there is more to be excited for than to be concerned for. The con I listed could be considered just a subjective opinion. There is a lot to like with this game. Christian Whitehead did an amazing job. I just hope if there is ever a Sonic Mania 2 he is given free reign to make an entirely original game with all new levels or at least 50% new 50% old. That is my only concern.

Score: 9 out of 10

My own subjective opinion concerning too many old levels over new, cost the score 1 point, but otherwise this would have been a perfect score!


#14

Also, a few interesting things to take note of:

-When you play as knuckles he has a completely different first act in Mirage Saloon, than Sonic or tails!

-While in Lava Reef Zone Knuckles actually enters Hidden Palace Zone and fights a different boss in a very familiar area from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles!

-By using the level select cheat and selecting the last boss fight, Knuckles and tails can fight the true final boss! (And in doing this Knuckles gets a secret ending!)

-The layouts of all the levels change when playing as Knuckles. You can explore and take different paths!


#15

Yesterday I finished the game as Sonic. I still have yet to collect all the emeralds and finish the game as the other characters. But I’ve played enough of it now to give a solid opinion.

I found Sonic Mania to be a bit disappointing. It’s a good game, and a consistently solid Sonic game all the way through, which is something I can’t say for most of the post-Megadrive titles. But it’s not the game I expected and hoped for.

Sonic Mania was marketed as “an all-new adventure”. But here’s the thing - it’s not all new. Most of the game is not new at all, but a remix of the 16-bit Sonic games. And as a special anniversary title that’s fine, but when the majority is not “all new” I can’t help but feel mislead. It’s not the successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles that I’d hoped for.

Sonic Mania feels a lot like fan fiction. Good fan fiction, but fan fiction nonetheless. Let’s move some elements around in the classic zones, change the music here, add some new twist on a classic boss there. I understand the intent was to celebrate the old titles. But for me, much of the game felt like “been there, done that” and for the remixed levels, a kind of uncanny valley (since I remember classic games so well).

It also feels very conservative in terms of gameplay and the chosen levels. The first two stages are the same as the first two stages from Sonic Generations - Green Hill and Chemical Plant. Green Hill is coming back again in Sonic Forces. How many times is Sega going to appeal to nostalgia, rather than moving the series forward? I think Sega missed the point that many fans had about Sonic 4; it wasn’t that we wanted to replay old stages, but wanted a continuation of the momentum based gameplay of the 16-bit titles. Sonic 4 evolved the 2D gameplay in the wrong direction, Sonic Mania hasn’t evolved much at all. A good example of moving a 2D series forward well was Rocket Knight (2010), which while it didn’t have the same distinct art style, updated the controls to be more fluid than the Megadrive titles.

The PC version of Sonic Mania was plagued with problems too. Flaky controller support and offline play. Maybe they will fix some of these issues in a patch, but the bad DRM at least could have been avoided and has left a bad taste in the mouth of many fans.

Sonic Mania is a good game. It’s worth playing for the new stages. I’m not convinced that the level design or music is better than the old games (too many cheap instakills), but it’s solid all the way through and that’s really something special for a Sonic title. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before purchasing. It’s a celebration title, not a true successor to Sonic 3 & Knuckles.


#16

This is pretty much how I felt as well. And like I said: the con of too many old levels, really hurts the game’s originality and ability to stand on its own. I was yearning for new levels all the way through!

I really liked some of the old levels like: Stardust Speedway and fighting Metal Sonic again!
But for the most part I think again, Sega played it too safe and didn’t give Christian Whitehead total creative control. Which is why Sonic Mania 2 or the next game he makes needs to be entirely original.


#17

This news is a bit old now, but it looks like Sonic Mania is getting some DLC. “Sonic Mania Plus” will feature two new playable characters:


#18

Yeah, but do we have to buy the game all over again or will there be a paid dlc download option for current owners of the original?


#19

I played it months ago and loved it to bits. There was a point in my life, not so long ago, where I had a ritual of listening to some Alan Watts or other lectures while playing the original Mega Drive trilogy of Sonic games on a emulator on my laptop. I must have played them a million times. So Mania not being very different wasn’t a disappointment for me, because I wasn’t expecting much in the way of new content…as long as it was a variation of the original formula I’d be happy. And I was. VERY HAPPY.

Obviously they can do much more with the license…but this is a step in the right direction. I don’t think Sonic works in 3D. None of the games I played really gave me the kick I got from playing the Genesis games. If the future is more 2D Sonic…that’s a good thing. No matter the iteration it will probably be something I like.

I wonder if there is any way to get the Plus DLC on my Steam copy of Mania.


#20

The DLC is out: