Sonic Mania Still Offers the best of Classic Sonic five Years Later

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The way classic 2D Sonic games are handled is a topic that many fans of the series are passionate about. This makes sense, since it was the Genesis games that launched the franchise in a huge part of the gaming history that it is today. There have been many cases where even official games designed to recreate what made the original games so great have failed, such as Sonic 4 and Classic Sonic from Sonic Forces. Of all the attempts to release something new for fans of the classics, Sonic Mania stands out as a real return to form, which many fans liked.

There are several factors that make Sonic Mania unique compared to other 2D games. One of the biggest, by far, is that Mania was a fan project presented by Christian Whitehead with the help of Simon “Stealth” Tomley from Headcannon. Both of them were well known in the Sonic community before Mania, as they had previously worked on numerous fan games and ROM hacks. These two enlisted the help of more well-known developers of fan games, which led to the creation of a game that presented the best of classic Sonic in a completely new way.

What Sonic Mania offers new and old players

Sonic Mania begins with a cut scene that describes the whole game quite well, as it reminds players of the past by copying the introduction of Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Shortly after, a new magical gem known as the Illusory Ruby is pulled from Angel Island, and its powers transport Sonic and Tails back to the Green Hill Area. This is a great representation of Mania in general, as the game is more like what Classic Sonic fans have been wanting to get for years. Nevertheless, he will definitely use the resources he had five years ago to demonstrate how much the design of 2D games has evolved since the creation of such a game. After all, Sonic Mania marks the first full-fledged basic 2D Classic Sonic game since 1996.

Many players were concerned that the game would rely too heavily on nostalgia, and some mentioned that old versions of familiar stages had to be sacrificed so that the new second acts would have more time to prove themselves. However, using the familiar first act before throwing players into a whole new second stage is almost like a warm-up, as some stages get more and more complicated. He refreshes old players and introduces new ones to the scene before almost testing them once the first section is passed. Knuckles’ Chaotix’s Combine Ring is also making an unexpected comeback for Classic Sonic experts, as the new Drop Dash mechanics were specifically created to help new fans. Drop Dash turned out to be such a great addition to the formula that after the re-release of Sonic games, such as Sonic Origins, it was definitely included in the Sonic movement set.

Encore Mode Sonic Mania Plus

After the success of the original release in 2018, Mania received a “Plus” expansion, which was accompanied by a free update improving the base game with missing features such as transitional cut scenes. As part of Sonic Mania Plus, a completely new mode has been added, known as “Encore Mode”, which allows players to re-complete the entire game with remixed stages. In Encore Mode, a complex rule was applied, according to which the player could have no more than five lives at the same time. The reason for this was that Encore Mode used all five characters, three from the original and two new characters for Mania Plus, as an interchangeable team. To the delight of fans, the two new characters were the battleship Mighty and the flying squirrel Ray.

For newcomers, Mighty and Ray are new, welcome faces in the cast of Classic Sonic for a little more variety. It was very gratifying for veterans to see these characters return after decades of inactivity. Thanks to two new characters available in the normal Mania mode and in the Encore mode, the possibilities of re-passing the game have significantly expanded. Even after fans have gone through Mania Mode two more times, the constant character switching in Encore Mode almost invites players to try to pass it by getting all seven Chaos Emeralds, while leaving all five characters at their disposal. This throws up a whole new challenge to a formula that players have already mastered many years ago, which is certainly welcome.

Sonic Mania is complemented by Sonic Origins

When Sonic Mania was released on all major platforms in 2017, some of these platforms were unable to provide their users with four other Classic Sonic games, which, given how highly referential Mania was, did not bode well for many new players. Although Mania is a game that can be played without understanding the games that came before it, if new fans want to play more, they will not be lucky. With the exception of new players, Sonic Mania had to follow where Sonic 3 and Knuckles left off, and supporters of the series on certain platforms did not have the opportunity to replay all the games if they wanted to.

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