‘Sonic Mania’ Takes the Hedgehog Back to His Roots

Jack DeVries
Games Comic-Con
Games Comic-Con

Sonic fans are getting spoiled this year with not one but two amazing looking Sonic the Hedgehog games. For fans of the more modern Sonic, Sonic Forces provides lightning fast blue blur action. But we’ve still got a soft spot for classic SEGA Genesis Sonic, and Sonic Mania is bringing that in force.

SEGA recently announced the release date for Sonic Mania in their latest trailer. Sonic, Tails & Knuckles return in 16-bit glory August 2017!

We got the chance to play a few of the levels for the game, and it is everything you’re hoping for from a classic Sonic reboot.

I started the Sonic Mania demo the only way that felt right, with a Green Hill Zone. The old school stage starts just like the original Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s a friendly opening teaching you the layout out of enemies and spikes, All the memorable enemies are there, you run through the loops, it’s all there in the sharp pixels you remember.

Of course, there’s some new moves to mix things up for Sonic, in particular the down dash. It’s fun enough to see the Down Dash in action, which allows you to activate the Spin Dash midair and then hit the ground running. It speeds up exploration quite a lot, letting you dash more efficiently through the stages.

Green Hill Zone ended with a brand new boss fight against a brand new machine from Eggman, a pair of spinning, spiked balls. It quickly alternates between which of the two you can do damage to, but with friendly enough to be one of the game’s earliest boss fights. A couple more hits and the mean mech is a pile of junk.

Sonic Mania Studiopolis Stage San Diego Comic-Con SDCC 2016

Studiopolis Zone was the second playable level in the game. It had the fresher feel of the two, featuring new elements like the silhouette effect when Sonic is standing behind tinted glass, or these floating orbs that kept Sonic floating above the ground. The stage was also full of type of bumpers you expect to see in Sonic’s famous Casino stages, bouncing players all around the stage. It was the more challenging of the two stages, and also proof that the developers are doing more with Sonic Mania than just a simple remake or reimagining.

Coming out August 2017, fans will have high hopes for Sonic Mania to return the character to his roots while also revitalizing the character’s old school action. Can he pull it off? We’ll find out when it launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Jack DeVries
I'm Jack! I like Pokemon, and sports themed anime shows where teenage boys cry a lot.
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