Sonic Mania is nearly three years old now – and the fact that it’s still one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games ever released is mind-blowing, to say the least.

It’s been 30 years since Sonic the Hedgehog first launched his first adventure on the Sega Genesis. To celebrate the occasion, Sega will release a new game in the series. It’s called Sonic Mania, and it uses the same gameplay mechanics as the original Genesis game, but with modernized graphics and the option to play the game in modern 2D, side-scrolling style.

Over the years, Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been treated to a number of high-quality Sonic releases. But none of them are what I would consider to be the best in the long-running franchise, that being the much-maligned Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (aka Sonic 3). Yet, as I played through Sonic Mania, I found myself thinking that this was the best Sonic game that I had played in years. Why was this game so good, and why did that statement seem so surprising to me?. Read more about sonic mania 2 and let us know what you think.

Sonic Mania was launched in 2017 and showed that even if Sega and Sonic Team had no idea what to do with their money-making mascot, the fans could pull off a high-quality game. When the game first came out, I wrote on another website about how I felt Sonic Mania was the greatest Sonic the Hedgehog game. With new games, it’s easy to fall victim to recency bias, but even in Sonic’s 30th anniversary year of 2021, after returning to the game and completing it 100 percent, I still think Sonic has never achieved the heights of Mania.

When you discuss the best games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, there are always the staples. Of course, many 90s gamers like myself adore Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles. Additionally, even with how they aged, I still find a lot of value in both Sonic Adventure games. I have been on quite the kick of replaying my favorites in the series in the past year, and I still find the same enjoyment from all of these games that I grew up with when I wasn’t playing Mario or The Legend of Zelda.

A weary look back at Sonic’s history

Sega provided this image.

While I believe that Sonic Mania is the greatest game in the series, I believe that the last decade of Sonic releases has focused much too much on Sonic’s history. These tendencies must alter immediately, whether it’s adding Classic Sonic or playing through Green Hill Zone many times in Sonic Generations and Sonic Forces, since Mania is falling into a trap. Sonic Mania has a total of 12 zones, eight of which are remixes of previous games.

Now that I’ve got it off my chest, I can appreciate all of the changes the creators made while recreating these classic levels. Chemical Plant, for example, has not only been updated with new features, but the boss battle is a recreation of Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, the franchise’s take on Puyo Puyo gameplay. These features not only bring additional fan service fun to the mix, but they also help Sonic Mania differentiate itself from its predecessors in terms of personality.

However, if a sequel to Sonic Mania is ever created, I’d want to see a game with completely new levels. The game’s four new levels are generally fantastic, and they combine concepts that might have easily been found in those old games, but they’re fresh and thrilling here. In the Press Garden Zone, for example, being frozen into an ice block is an example. Yes, being trapped within an ice block is hazardous, but some sections of the level have been designed to allow you to slide about. That’s an intriguing approach in which the Sonic games might use more.

1629338464_3_Years-later-Sonic-Mania-is-still-the-best-Sonic-theSega provided this image.

Where Sega fails, the fans triumph.

1629338466_634_Years-later-Sonic-Mania-is-still-the-best-Sonic-theSega provided this image.

Despite the fact that we’ve seen a lot of Sonic nostalgia over the last decade, I blame Sega, not the creators of Sonic Mania, for this. My favorite aspect about Sonic Mania is that it was created by a group of Sonic the Hedgehog enthusiasts who were not affiliated with Sega. Christian Whitehead is in the lead, having created the finest mobile ports of Sonic 1, 2, and CD. Then there’s Headcannon, who worked on the original two games’ remasters. Both of them worked on fan games before working on official Sonic ports and games. PagodaWest Games, an independent developer with no prior Sonic credentials, rounds out the group. 

The fact that three independent organizations collaborated to create an official Sonic the Hedgehog game that was much more well-received than Sonic Forces, which Sega published just a few months later, demonstrates the amount of love and attention that went into Mania. Watch the introduction of Sonic Mania below and listen to the live responses to discover how excited the Sonic community was to see a fan game become an official title – the reactions speak for themselves.

 

Sonic the Hedgehog turns 30 in 2021, and I’ve been waiting for the next great item from Sega through all of the good and terrible. That may be the previously announced Sonic game, which seems to have some sort of digital element, but if not, a Sonic Mania 2 would be a fantastic way to keep 2D Sonic alive.

There will be no more going back to previous phases. There will be no more putting Classic Sonic into modern games with the more mature Sonic. Allow that 2022 release to be its own 3D adventure, while a sequel to Sonic Mania continues the 2D type games with fresh concepts from its devoted creators. There’s no need to mash the two playstyles together any more. Allow them to go their own ways and adapt to the new changes.

1629338467_479_Years-later-Sonic-Mania-is-still-the-best-Sonic-theSega provided this image.

Sonic Mania brings back a lot of old favorites from the series and enhances and expands on them in a manner that makes fans happy. I’m hoping for a sequel someday, but for now, Sonic Mania proves why the blue hedgehog is still one of gaming’s most popular characters.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sega doing for Sonics 30th anniversary?

Sega is doing a lot of things for Sonics 30th anniversary. They are releasing remastered versions of their classic games, they are releasing the first ever Sonic game on PC, and they have released a new game called Sonic Mania.

Is Sonic Mania the best Sonic game ever?

I am not sure if Sonic Mania is the best Sonic game ever, but it is a very good game.

Is Sonic Mania and sonic mania plus the same game?

No, they are different games. Sonic Mania is a game that was released in 2017 and it is the first game in the series to be released on a Nintendo console since the Sega Genesis days. Sonic Mania Plus is an updated version of Sonic Mania that was released in 2018.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • sonic the hedgehog
  • sonic mania plus
  • sonic the hedgehog information
  • sonic the hedgehog game
  • who is stronger sonic shadow or silver
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