Wow it’s been 23 years since Sonic 3 & Knuckles. 23 mixed feelings years for fans of the blue blur, but with the newly released game “Sonic Mania,” there is a reason to celebrate once more. Pulling the retro style into the modern age this new outing for Sonic the Hedgehog pulls from the original 4 games, and adds new twists for the player to discover.
So let’s get right to it, the gameplay. Controls feel pulled right from the classic series, anyone who has played the games of the past will feel right at home, which also means that new players will find it easy to learn. Mania features 3 playable characters. Sonic has the classic jumping, rolling, fast speed action you know him for, but also has a new move at his disposal, the drop dash! While jumping in the air you can press the button again to start spinning, and when he lands it’s an automatic spindash! Of course Sonic’s pal Tails is along for the ride with his traditional flying skills, and Knuckles also returns to glide and climb through the levels with ease.
The remixed music, and levels from the classic series are fantastic renditions of the games of old, and the newer levels are… few in number, and actually the more interesting part of the game. Hopefully this game will merit a sequel so that we can see some more original levels from the developers. Not only are the new levels good, but there are a few new features that add to the gameplay. A new collectable blue ring power-up that allows you more ring retention when hit, and tons of collectable, and bonus features send the replay value skyrocketing in Sonic Mania.
Overall, this is the Sonic game that fans have been waiting for. You don’t need me to say that, the whole internet is chanting the same thing, but now I am among the chorus singing the old school bit chipped SEGA tune from the beginning of many a genesis title. If you are into Sonic games this is a no-brainer, and if you have been disdainful of the newer entries in the series this harkens to the days of yore. Pick it up as a digital download on Switch/PS4/XBOXONE for $19.99 USD.
Unfortunately it’s gonna be later for Steam users (Aug. 29th) Sorry gang.