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Everybody’s favorite SEGA mascotte returns to its 2D roots! Sonic Mania has delivered the best Sonic experience in decades and offers a classic experience for a new generation of gamers. 2D Sonic is finally back in an all-new amazing adventure.

I grew up with Sonic. I loved Sonic. I adored Tales. I came to accept Knuckles. Then it all went crazy and stupid  in a downward spiral of shit. Sonic was my first real game, it came with my first and most loved and cherished console, the SEGA Megadrive. I started playing Sonic when I was just 4 years old and it quickly became my most beloved game on the console – just as quickly it disappeared from my top and was replaced by Street Fighter II. I wasn’t good at it and it wasn’t until I was a bit older and replayed the game when I first saw the end of the game. The Green Hill Zone is where I’d spend most of my time. But who cares. I could play this game endlessly without putting it down. At least it felt like an eternity. Later when you actually have a sense of time you’ll find out that your parents tricked you in believing that you would play all day. Even though they controlled everything and you actually played for half an hour a day. Remember there were no save games in that day and age.

Sonic has starred in some major disasters, crossover games that had nothing to do with the source material and even a Sonic racing game or two. It’s safe to say that SEGA needed to rediscover their purpose and focus on what they want to do with the character. It looks like they’ve finally come to an amazing conclusion. Sonic Mania returns to the game’s roots and offers enjoyable and retro 16-bit gameplay.The game is developed by Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games in collaboration with SEGA of America, and is available on all major platforms. This all-new retro experience celebrates the best of the classic Sonic we know and love, pushing the envelope forward with stunning 60 FPS gameplay and pixel-perfect physics and offers a modern take on the world’s fastest blue hedgehog. Sonic never looked, played and sounded so good!

You are able to play as Sonic, Tails, & Knuckles and can pick any combination of these as you race through all-new Zones and fully re-imagined classic levels, each filled with exciting surprises and powerful bosses. The game offers some new moves like; Sonic’s new Drop Dash, Tails’ flight, and Knuckles’ climbing abilities to overcome the evil Dr. Eggman’s robots. However, the core of the game consists of the traditional one button control, Jump! As expected Sonic is a good all-around choice, Tails is floatier and flies around with his tail, and Knuckles can climb walls or glide. Every single character offers a unique gameplay element while staying true to their core characteristics. All the character campaigns are worth playing trough and should offer a decent amount of joy. The game offers myriad of never-before-seen hidden paths and secrets. There’s no requirement of beating the game to unlock anything special or secret modes to play through, you just get all of it from the get-go.

All of Sonic Mania’s remixed zones feel familiar without feeling like a reused and updated version of said zone. They’re remixed in such a way that they barely resemble their classic counterparts. In many ways they surpass the classic zones that clearly inspired the design of these new ones. The levels feel new and up-to-date and could compete with any modern platforming game. There’s still that majestic feeling of replaying a level, finding a secret item, beating your own score, having set a faster time than before or your friends and smiling and boasting like that happy kid you were back in the 90’s. The game’s multiple acts offer mini-bosses and end bosses, which are all manageable and highly enjoyable.

The game offers co-op gameplay where you and a friend can control either Sonic or Tails and play trough the game together. The game also offers an optional time attack mode which is can be unlocked along with a competitive multiplayer mode after completing the first act of the game. The competitive mode is offline only and allows you and a friend to go head-to-head in local races. Battling for position, rings and power-ups in classically squashed split-screen multiplayer. You and your friend/victim will be able to select from Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in races, and determine the number of rounds and which power-ups are permitted.

Verdict:

Sonic has never looked, played and sounded as good as Sonic Mania. The game is an excellent addition to the “classic” Sonic series and comes without Olympic games, plumbers and strange cars. The game sees the triumphant return of world’s fastest blue hedgehog and friends to their rightful place at the top of the genre. The game is a bit short, but with a $20 price tag that’s not really a complaint for a solid platforming experience.

Sonic Mania is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A PC version will release August 29, 2017.
About author

Kevin "Method" van Dongen

Ain't no thing like me, except me. I am the biggest half behind this website and love to write about my deep love for fighting games, (J)RPG's and Destiny. Really do not like Call of Duty and absolutely love pizza.