Sonic Mania is one of the most highly-anticipated games since its announcement last year. As a commemoration project for the 25th anniversary of the popular series – the game will feature the classic 2D design and game play.
Inspired by the early additions to the series (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2&3, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic & Knuckles etc) the game includes a mixture of ‘remixed’ levels from the earlier games as well as completely new levels.
As in the earlier games, there are three playable characters who are Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. Each character has their own abilities – Sonic being the fastest, Tails being able to fly and swim and Knuckles who can glide and climb up walls.
An interesting addition to the new title is two player functionality. Two players can now team up as Sonic and Tails with Sonic playing the main game and Tails providing support (collecting rings etc).
The game play is generally the same as the originals, with staple game play. With the aim of the game to collect rings and defeat Dr Robotnik/Eggman and that the player’s health is determined by rings.
Furthermore, additional Bonus Stages have been announced for the game. The first of the two new stages has the player (playing as Sonic, Tails or Knuckles) chase a UFO (carrying a Chaos Emerald) whilst collecting blue spheres (to boost speed) and rings.
A second bonus stage shows the player collecting blue spheres that turn into rings (whilst avoiding the red spheres which will end the bonus stage if touched!). This bonus stage having originally featured in Sonic 3 and Knuckles.
By completing a bonus stage the player will receive a silver medallion. If the player has gone that step further and collected all the blue spheres and rings they will receive a gold medallion instead.
Alike other retro comebacks such as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, Sonic Mania will include a CRT graphics filter that allows the player to play as they did back in the 90s!
As of time of writing, Sonic Mania is supposedly only planned to be released via download code (to the disappointment of many fans). However, a rumoured leak on the Game Stop Italy website featured a physical copy of the eagerly anticipated game was listed for the Nintendo Switch.
Since the listings has been taken down with no official comment from Nintendo or Game Stop. Fans across the globe have their fingers crossed that this will be real as the retro cover art will make the perfect addition to their Sonic collection!
Back in September 2016, a collector’s edition was announced for the game. The announcement trailer was in the style of the old Sonic the Hedgehog 2 trailer. This included a Sonic statue, a game cartridge cast with a golden ring and a collectors metallic card with a download code for the game. More recently, a limited edition vinyl was announced with the soundtrack for the highly anticipated game.