Sonic Mania or "How to fall in love with the Sega pet again"

Maybe I'm being too optimistic? It is Sonic mania the best Sonic game in lustrums or is it just a mirage? The truth is that Sega did not finish hitting the right key in its attempts to revitalize the hedgehog franchise, but it seems that now. Finally. Sonic Mania is a luminous title, and on this side of the Hypercube we could not be happier.

Sonic mania It was released in August 2017 for PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. Although it was published by Sega, the game was developed by programmer Christian Whitehead with the great help of independent studios Headcannon and PagodaWest Games. Christian was already a programmer known for his adaptations of some classic Sonic games, and Pagoda and Headcannon had also worked on previous community fangames. That is to say, we are talking about people who have a lot of affection for the character and that is something that must be valued to understand the reason for the success of Sonic Mania.

The game is full of references to previous games on the MegaDrive and Sega CD, reimagining many of the levels and game mechanics of those 16-bit and 32-bit titles. Sega already tried to do something similar with the Sonic Generations of the previous generation of consoles, but the thing did not finish curdling. Although I tried to take back that same “retro” touch, fusing it with 3D perspectives and more current elements, there were times when things got too complicated. At least for me, that was a game that I ended up leaving behind out of sheer frustration.

Sonic Mania cuts to the chase: 12 levels (8 "reimagined" and 4 totally new), each consisting of 2 acts with their corresponding final boss. If the game ends before defeating the second boss, we will have to start over from the first act. It's a fairly fair deal, as even though the levels aren't extremely difficult, having to start from scratch adds enough stress to take it seriously for the rest of the game.

This is the map from Act 2 of the Chemical Plant Zone. As you can see they have taken it very seriously!

In my case, the best way I am enjoying the game is with an arcade-type controller, with its joystick and arcade-style buttons. Really, if you have one of these controllers at home, this is the ideal game to get the most out of it.

Sega is clear that the Sonic Mania is a whole reef to be exploited, and the Sonic Mania Plus is already announced for December of this year. The same game, but with 2 new characters and 2 extra game modes. A title that on the other hand is not expensive at all and that barely exceeds 20 euros in price.

Best of Sonic Mania:

  • Speed. That feeling of letting yourself go in some moments.
  • Levels with a multitude of surprises.
  • The difficulty curve is adequate.
  • A very fun game

The worst of Sonic Mania:

  • It is a mirror in which other more recent titles such as the infamous Sonic Forces are reflected.

In short, a game full of virtues, with a good soundtrack, very careful retro graphics and levels full of items and hidden areas that allow us to replay them several times. Also, if we get the 7 chaos emeralds we can use Sonic's super transformation and unlock the true endgame. What more could you want? Every detail is measured to the millimeter. If you've never played Sonic, this is without a doubt the best possible starting point.

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