It’s no secret that unlike his closest rival, Mario, Sonic has lost pace when it comes to churning out unforgettable video games. The blue blur has been somewhat lost in translation ever since he made the move from 2D side-scrolling games and debuted in fully-fledged 3D adventures. I’d agree that it hasn’t all been a complete failure (Sonic Adventure 2 was pretty neat), but overall it’s hard to count fantastic Sonic games and enter double digits.
Many fans and critics alike have been calling out for a return to Sonic’s roots by resurfacing the 2D-era that spun the hedgehog to fame and now their calls have finally been answered.
Sonic Mania takes the series back to its origins by diving back into the 90s and offering a remix of classic levels from the original Sega Genesis games. It plucks the best bits from Sonic’s golden age and brings with it a fresh soundtrack, remastered levels and, in some cases, completely new ones too! It’s a brilliant package that’s filled with nostalgia and sure to please fans of the originals. Even newcomers looking for a fantastic side-scrolling video game will be able to revel in Mania’s old school charm and vibrant art work, all of which is supported in native 4K resolution for PlayStation 4 Pro users.
I grew up with the games that Sonic Mania draws it creativity from, they were some of the very first video games I ever played and, as such, they’re a pretty big part of my childhood (the first game was released the same year I was born). So, getting the chance to replay a specced-up version of the blue ball’s greatest hits feels heart warming and I’m glad it isn’t just a simple re-skin. The very fact that levels from the old games have been updated to include features from later entries in the series, including additional characters never seen in the first game (Tails and Knuckles) makes the experience even sweeter.
It’s all-too-common for a developer to revisit an old game and simply enhance it to work with newer hardware, but Sonic Mania is a passion project that gathers the best bits of one of gaming’s most recognisable mascots and squeezes them all into one neat bundle of nostalgia and joy. For returning fans everything looks and plays as it used to, plus its brand-new animated intro and ending cutscenes are bloody amazing.
Here’s hoping that Sega continue the format by allowing the team to create an entirely new entry in this classic 90s era of Sonic games. Anything is possible.