PAX West 2016: How Sonic Mania Reestablished My Faith In The Sonic Franchise

PAX West 2016: How Sonic Mania Reestablished My Faith In The Sonic Franchise

PAX West was the home of hundreds of titles this past weekend. Among the busy expo floor, SEGA remained busy by showcasing Sonic Mania – Playable for the first time since its initial reveal.

I’ve been a long-time Sonic the Hedgehog fan, ever since the release of its self-titled game in 1991 on the SEGA Genesis. The industry has gotten to know Sonic over the past 25 years and has familiarized the hedgehog in recent releases with 3D platforming, improved combat, and some terrible releases. Among the cesspool of Sonic titles, some great games have still emerged, such as Sonic Colors & Sonic Generations, but they have all failed to capture the same great quality of entertainment left by the SEGA Genesis. This was not helped by the release of Sonic The Hedgehog in 2006 and Sonic Boom in 2014, as the games were extraordinarily buggy and impossible to enjoy.

Enter Sonic Mania: The first game to have me excited to play Sonic The Hedgehog since I saw the initial announcement trailer for Sonic Generations. The game is almost new – by that I mean they have taken the classic Sonic titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic CD and made impressive improvements to bring the classic Sonic to life in 2017. The developers behind Sonic Mania have worked hard to include classic levels, mixed in with several new areas and secrets to explore in the game. My gameplay experience started with Green Hill Zone, the first level in 1991’s Sonic The Hedgehog.

Upon playing, I found myself underneath the level, exploring a new path I was not familiar with. In this path, I found a plethora of new secrets, with one being the giant Sonic ring which would start the mini-game sequence as seen in Sonic The Hedgehog 2. According to the game’s producer, the new mini-game will be present in form of a half-pipe, where Sonic will collect coins and various objects.

The game is designed from the ground-up with all new sprites, new enemies, and new abilities. It isn’t just a simple remake of the classic titles. This is where it gets me excited. An old familiar experience – mixed in the new, refreshing twists to help keep the old formula alive. It has been a very long time that I’ve been excited for a Sonic title, and Sonic Mania may just be one of my most anticipated games of 2017.

Sonic Mania will launch in 2017 for the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Windows PC’s.