Sonic Mania Review
Developer: Christian Whitehead
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Sonic Mania brings in the things that I loved about the classic Sonic franchise, but with all new levels and experiences. Released on the Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and PC on August 15, 2017, with a $20 price tag, it was an impulse buy, but one that I definitely do not regret. I personally have been playing on the Nintendo Switch and have loved every moment of it!
Playing the first zone brought back memories that I haven’t had since playing the original Sonic games on the Sega Genesis, speeding through the green side scrolling back drop only to get the zone boss. I couldn’t help but smile as I played zone after zone. One of my favorite things about the game was the seamless transition from the different acts and zones.
The controls are simple, yet sometimes can require focus, especially in the underwater zones. For the most part, the boss battles are pretty straight forward and require the hitting the boss multiple times, there were a few bosses that I had small problems with, even a few that I never figured out how to beat without losing all my rings.
There are 3 modes that you have the option of playing in Sonic Mania. The first is the main single player mode called “Mania Mode.” This is where the story is found and how you are able to unlock the other modes of the game. The levels automatically advance and you are not able to go back into the previous zones for this mode until you beat the final level. You can co-op this mode, however, there are some limitations in doing so. Player 1 needs to be the leader of the two; if for some reason Player 2 falls behind and off screen for any reason the game will automatically catch up. However, in the few times that we tried to see what would happen, if Player 1 fell behind the game, there was a bug in the game that would not allow Player 1 to catch up.
There is also a “Time Attack” mode that allows you to race against the clock on the levels that you have completed. The last mode, which is also my favorite, is the “Competition” mode. This mode allows you to in a split-screen view to go head to head against friends. One of the things that I wish was a part of the game was an online competition mode that you could compete with your friends. However, I do not think the absence of it takes away from the game as a whole.
While the classic gameplay of a 2D Platform, with emphasis on speed, is not for everyone, this game defiantly is everything that I want in a Sonic remake. I look forward to seeing how this game does and hope the reception this game has received is a sign for things to come.