Sonic Mania

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Sonic Mania- SEGA


Sonic Mania is non stop fast paced action that, while corny at times, is still a very fun experience.


Sonic Mania is a return to the Sega Genesis Classics both visually and in gameplay. This side scrolling platformer will have you going fast and taking down a large variety of bosses. It has a high nostalgic value for any former or long time sonic fans, but it’s so much more than that.


The story in this game is kept vague with only small clues to whats actually going on. What you can tell in game (without any research online) is that Eggman found an emerald and Sonic and friends are chasing after it. The emerald keeps distorting time and space taking the gang to alternate versions of various stages from the Genesis era of sonic games. It’s pretty much there as a reason to go back to stages from old games.

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The intro animation for the start screen of Sonic Mania


As is usual in this series, you will be running fast for a majority of the game. You speed along paths, slide through loops and jump over platforms that collapse right underneath you. It feels good a majority of the time, but if you lose your momentum as you approach a loop, you have to basically bring all the action to a halt for a moment while you charge up your spin dash enough to continue. This can get annoying at times, but it’s only a minor inconvenience.

Defeating enemies is done by jumping into them which feels just like it did back in the 16 bit era! While it does feel right from a nostalgic point of view, it doesn’t necessarily feel very satisfying in today’s atmosphere. The hit detection can also be off a bit, especially with some boss fights.

Normally a sonic game like this would have you face a boss every 2 levels, but here there’s a new boss at the end of every stage. This is where the game really shines! from re-imagining old bosses but with new twists, to completely original and equally entertaining boss encounters, There is a good variety of fair, but challenging bosses that may contain some surprising references as well (wink).

Knuckles facing one of the many bosses of the game

There are a nice variety of power ups to collect. Some are as simple as a shield that prevents any damage from the next hit you receive, but others even give you a new ability. For example, one of these power ups gives you a shield but also lets you do a new mid air dash ability.

As you play, you will be collecting rings. These rings are familiar to any fans of the series, but they act as your health. When the player gets hit Sonic loses all the rings that have been collected and you have a small window to pick them back up before you get hit again or they are lost forever. If you get hit with no rings, then it’s game over. A new feature does make it so when you get hit, some rings will appear bigger and when collected, restore a larger number of rings. Instead of only twenty rings being possible to recollect after taking damage, you are now able to gather all of your rings thanks to this addition.

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Sonic getting hit and losing all his rings

Sonic Mania also features a co-op mode, but it mostly just makes you wish you were playing single player. The second character becomes more of a distraction than a partner and the levels clearly weren’t designed with co-op in mind.


The characters are as classic and timeless in design as anything can be. Throughout the game you play as sonic but are able to access different character in the time trial mode. These characters all have pretty similar mechanics except for certain special abilities unique to them.


Sonic is a cool guy who loves to run, always plays the hero, and always has fun while he’s at it! Sonic is a standard character with no real special techniques to speak of but that’s what we love about him!


Tails Miles Prower has the ability to briefly hover in the air. Tails is also the tech guy who can fly while using his back end as helicopter propellers. He’s a real geek and Sonic’s best friend who’s always willing to help out!


Knuckles impresses with the ability to glide and climb walls. He’s a real tough guy who is very strong and resourceful. He’s not afraid to use his fists when it’s necessary.

Oher than Sonic the characters don’t feel that great to play as and just end up being more clunky than helpful.

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(Left to right) Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are the 3 playable characters in Sonic Mania


Bosses– The bosses are arguably the best part, they all feel very different and get increasingly more difficult, but never overwhelmingly so.

Nostalgia– From the moment you start the game up you get blasted with old Sonic memories. You get to see classic levels like green hill zone, chemical plant zone, and stardust speedway, all of which has some changes added to make it feel like a new experience while still recapturing the essence of the Sega Genesis!

Visuals– Whether your breaking through glass, setting an oil platform on fire, or just running around on a green hill, this game is just so much fun to look at even if it is 16-bit graphics

Glass breaking in Sonic Mania


Multiplayer– Multiplayer is just a mess with levels that weren’t designed for it and it ends up being more frustrating than it needs to be

Alternate Characters– The alternate characters feel lame and their new abilities just end up slowing the game down rather than making it more fun.


Overall, the game is a blast to play as long as you stick to the core game mode. Though it’s hardly a problem as the story mode is simply what anyone would buy a sonic game for. Even if you’re not a sonic fan, it’s still great fun and is quite an affordable grab! The game does have some cons, but they’re mostly just minor grievances. The multiplayer may lack, but Sonic Mania’s single player experience is good arcade-like fun and very much worth checking out!

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