Sonic Mania is the game that promised to bring back the passion of gamers for the fastest blue hedgehog that ever existed. Gambling high on the “nostalgia” factor that the golden age of the 16-bit consoles still holds, the game arrived on Tuesday the 15th of August to virtual stores and shelves worldwide for the low price of £16/$20.
Will the blue speedster and his friends be able to please his older and newer younger fans who are not used to the jump spinning critters? By the ratings it has received it sure seems like it’s done just that.
HeadCannon and PagodaWest Games studios, along with developer Christian Whitehead (who was known to perform great ports independent of the first games in the series, and was eventually invited by Sega to lead the Sonic Mania project) have done an excellent job of utilizing previous features of past games as well as seamlessly integrating new ones. The premise of Sonic mania is that Dr. Robotnik has stolen the chaos emeralds (again) and caused “mania” in the sonic universe. the game starts in a familiar zone (to OG fans) known as the Green Hill Zone all seems the same but then you start to notice subtle differences.
Just when you start to notice these changes the level ends and you’re onto the next stage which delves further into the differences showcasing Christian Whitehead’s ability to create new level concepts and still keep that 90’s nostalgia flowing. At the end of stage 2 of each zone, you encounter one of Dr. Robotnik’s sonic killing bosses, while the bosses have similar abilities to their 90’s counterparts they look very different.
Special stages have also been included with an all new one for players old and new to undertake, this new special stage sees you controlling sonic as he chases after one of Robotnik’s UFOs that have stolen a chaos emerald, to achieve the capture sonic must collect blue orbs littered on the track to increase the speed he runs at whilst also collecting rings to keep the time limit up. also included are some old special stages from past games including running around a sphere turning blue orbs red and collecting rings.
Sonic Mania has enough nostalgic value to keep me interested for a short while what with all the new features the game feels very original. For me it just doesn’t have the holding power that more graphically enhanced games have, yes it has that 90’s feel to it but is that what gamers want for their jacked up PC’s or consoles I feel that while there are those few die hard fans that will pay anything to cling to the feeling that they had as a child there are a lot more people that will see this as a gimmick that won’t last.
That being said the game runs well and I really enjoyed my time with it but I lost interest really quickly if you want that feeling of joy you got in your childhood when playing the original game this game caters to that but there isn’t enough longevity in the game in my opinion.