Sonic the hedgehog is a television character who inspired some games developed by Sega Genesis. The game still maintains some of the soundtracks and graphics that it originally had. Sonic Mania is a game developed by Sega Genesis in conjunction with a community of fans.

This is a true dedication to the old days when Sonic was still a new game. The game simultaneously brings in the past and also adds new tech aspects that tell of the future potential of the game.

Publisher Information

  • Developer(s): Headcannon, PagodaWest Games
  • Publisher(s): Sega
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Release dates: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One – August 15th, 2017 (World Wide), August 16th, 2017 (Japan). Microsoft Windows –  August 29th, 2017 (World Wide), August 30th, 2017 (Japan)

The story behind Sonic Mania

The game is a sequel to Sonic & Knuckles, and it tells of how Dr Eggman is once again in the sights of Sonic, ails and Knuckles. He has a mysterious emerald artifact and has hired the Hard-Boiled Heavies to help defend the jewel.

However, the new twist does not take away the age custom of defeating Eggman and any cohorts he has and collecting Chaos Emeralds along the way.

The Game design

The amazing soundtrack and graphics, as mentioned before, gives a player a great impression upon opening the game. There is a lot of attention given to the presentation, which is reminiscent of the early Sonic games.

The characters still retain the pixelated appearance that they always have, but there are more detail and smoother animation in the game.

Now, for the latest developments, Sonic Mania also has a mix of new tracks and remixes of some great hits. The New Jack Swing dance style, which was characteristic of Sonic games in the 90s are still being used here.

The game then brings all these together to make a game that is exciting and nostalgic at the same time.

The Level design

The levels in Sonic Mania are some of the best yet to be created. There are 12 zones, which have obstacles and pathways placed there to give the gang a challenge in the search for the elusive emeralds. The player gets a rush when speeding through lanes, without knowing what lays ahead.

The game launches the player in different directions and loops which make for never-ending excitement for fans. The smooth frame rate and the wide screen aspect have added more vision to the screen, giving the players a better game experience.

In Sonic Mania, the levels are created to show off the abilities of each character. Sonic may be able to run at high speeds through some zones, but he will be unable to get to some pathways accessible to Knuckles and Tails because they can fly and climb.

You get to take full advantage of the abilities of each character, giving the game an integrated experience. It is not all about Sonic, but about the team as a whole.

The Gameplay

Sonic Mania may have some new animations added, but it still operates like the classic-style game. You can choose which of the three characters to play, and you can also get to play two characters at one time – Sonic and Knuckles or Sonic and Tails.

Right from the start, you get to see classic movements of the three characters but with some finer details added to their animation. The trio still maintains their classic individual abilities, apart from Sonic who now has a new Drop Dash. This helps him roll forward after a significant jump. This seems more natural and also helps rapid oncoming dangers after a jump.

Sonic Mania ReviewStories within stories

Although Sonic Mania keeps many of past game characteristics, it does not do so for nostalgic reasons only. IT is a way of bringing in new ideas, based on those that players are already familiar with.

There is a replication of the first five games in the series, but there are new challenges and characters added to make it more challenging and exciting. In one zone, you are in a chemical plant, similar to that found in Sonic 2, but here you have to bounce on the jelly to get to new levels – this aspect was absent in the original Sonic 2.

There are new zones added to the narrative, and they all have the speedy nature that characterises all Sonic games. Several inventive concepts add diversity to the story which just makes the game more exciting.

Imagine having to freeze into a block of ice to smash through a wall, or having to figure out a maze of gates, just when you have neared the end of a zone. These are the additions that make the game stand out from the originals.

Each of the zones requires you to fight against one of the bosses, whose abilities vary. Some of the bosses also pay homage to some past Sonic challenges such as Dr Robotnik’s Sonic Fighters and Mean Bean Machine. Some of the boss fights will require advanced tactic to win.

These final challenges allow the player to improve in skills and bring an overall sense of accomplishments with each level.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall
90 %
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ANTHONY MARINE is a leading content writer and reviewer, with several published works on the Internet. He has a B.Sc. (Hons) Degree in Range Management from the University of Nairobi. He is a father, husband and loves working from home.