Sonic Mania

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a game by Christian Whitehead
Platforms: XBox One, PC, Playstation 4
Editor Rating: 8.3/10, based on 3 reviews, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.1/10 - 55 votes
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See also: Sonic Download, 2D Platformer Games, Fast-Paced Games, 2020 Movies
Sonic Mania
Sonic Mania
Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania is a modern entry in the Sonic series that pays homage to the classic Genesis era of this massively popular franchise. Once considered a titan of platforming games, the Sonic franchise lacks the popularity that it had in the 90s. However, through a flurry of colorful levels, classic challenging gameplay, and an abundance of replayability, Sonic Mania looks to bring Sonic back into the mainstream. This completely 2D adventure goes back to the roots of classic Sonic gameplay, offering one of the fastest platforming adventures around. Whether you're a longtime fan of Sonic or completely new to the series, Sonic Mania is a must-play callback to the Sega Genesis.

Main Game Features

  • 12 levels featuring classic and new areas
  • Competitive and cooperative multiplayer options
  • Multiple playable characters

Story

Like in the early Genesis games, the story in Sonic Mania is straightforward and appropriately retro in nature. One day, Sonic and Tails hop on their plane to investigate a curious energy reading from the nearby Angel Island. On the way, their trip is delayed by Doctor Robotnik's evil horde of robots, who attempt to stop their arrival. By the time the pair reach Angel Island, the robots have already discovered the source of the energy, a crystal of immense power known as the Phantom Ruby. As the robots attempt to bring the ruby back to Doctor Robotnik, Sonic, Tails, and their pal Knuckles give chase.

Gameplay

Sonic Mania strips away the more modern mechanics and features that have dominated the Sonic franchise and opts for a retro gameplay formula instead. In order to retrieve the Phantom Ruby and defeat Doctor Robotnik, you must travel through 12 different zones with wicked speed, collecting rings and defeating enemies. There are three playable characters: Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Each character has a handful of special abilities, allowing you to reach different areas and unlock new content. Like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a second player can join in and control Tails in cooperative play. As is tradition, you can also discover a hidden mini-game in each stage by locating a giant golden ring. There are both classic zones and “remixed” zones to play through, offering a mixture of nostalgia and more modern mechanics.

Generally speaking, Sonic Mania plays like a dream. The controls are super tight, the game flows incredibly well, and there's a great amount of gameplay variety. However, the colorful visuals and beautiful pixel art are what truly seals the deal. Sonic Mania is easily one of the most vibrant and joyous games around, accurately recreating the 16-bit era visual style. Levels are packed with visual effects and beautiful scenery, thanks to the power of modern consoles and gaming computers.

If you grew up playing the original Sonic series on Genesis, Sonic Mania is a visual treat that delivers an undeniable blast from the past.

8

Although the Sonic series once dominated gaming and stood alongside Mario as one of the most powerful brands around, the franchise has taken a dip in popularity over the last few years. Whether due to poor game design, waning interest, or the inability to adjust to modern tastes, Sonic has fallen on rough times. That said, Sonic Mania manages to add a surprising jolt of originality and energy into the series, resulting in one of the most enjoyable and fast-paced platforming games available. Gamers who grew up with the Sonic series will undoubtedly appreciate Sonic Mania's many references and homages, but newcomers will have a great time as well.

Pros

  • Lightning-fast gameplay
  • Colorful, nostalgic visuals
  • Awesome combination of classic and new levels

Cons

  • Leaves out some newer Sonic characters
  • Too short

Download Sonic Mania

XBox One

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 4

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

A gaming company's most important asses are actually its fanbase and the gamers out there who enjoy their games. And this is why it is so important to keep an eye out for the way they treat them, and probably one of the best examples of this is Sega. As Sega has hired a group of great fans of the blue hedgehog to make a new game with the excuse of the 25th anniversary of their mascot... and the result is a playable delight that takes us down the path of nostalgia called Sonic Mania. Sega's mascot has been with us for more than a quarter of a century and, in its wake, it has left us countless great memories. Not in vain, it has starred in almost a hundred games (including spin-offs and mobile games), appearing on almost all platforms and with titles for all types of users.

About the game

Sonic Mania was born as a love letter to the classic 2D blue hedgehog games. The Sonic Advance trilogy left a good taste in this aspect, but the two episodes that saw the light of Sonic 4 left many users quite cold. When the first episode was released in 2010, it tried to keep the classic 16-bit formula but with a technical and gameplay update.

Sonic Mania is all that. It is the recovery of the hedgehog's roots, carried out by the people who currently understand the situation of the license the most: the fans. One of them is Christian Whitehead (The Taxman), an Australian independent developer who began his career with Retro Sonic, a fan game released in 2007 that caught the attention of Sega itself. Not because of the typical copyright issues, but because they saw passion and talent in that young man. Whitehead would work on several Sonic ports based on his own engine.

Gameplay

The game, like Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, lets us choose who we want to play with: Sonic and Tails, Sonic alone, Tails alone, or Knuckles. The experience is different depending on who we play with, since, just like in the old days, Sonic has speed, Tails does the helicopter with his two tails, and Knuckles can climb and glide. This makes each game different, although the game, as in the past, is designed to play with the combo of Sonic and Tails (although it is better measured and not as in Sonic 3, where playing alone with Tails was almost an impossible odyssey). Our three heroes will face Robotnik and his new robot minions, who will torment us in the final bosses of each of the phases.

Review: 9/10

Sonic Mania is exactly the game Sonic fans were looking for, it's a title that completely captures the magic and feel of the original games and brings it to the present day, a breath of fresh air for the franchise.

9

The game has the same graphic style as the classics, but with modern touches that are very welcome. The environments are built with a lot of care and each is a pleasure to explore. But even if the graphics are faithful to the originals, the level design is much more complex and fun to discover. It's a Sonic game made for the fans, by the fans, and it's beautiful.

Pros:

  • Beautiful and faithful visuals
  • A strong emphasis on platforming
  • Excellent soundtrack

Cons:

  • The levels might be a bit too long

Snapshots and Media

XBox One Screenshots

PC Screenshots

Playstation 4 Screenshots

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