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Sonic Mania review
by Pandsu

I grew up on Sonic 1 and 2 on the Mega Drive / Genesis and always thought that Sonic 2 would be unbeatable as my favorite Sonic game of all time, especially because I am just so nostalgic for it. But Sonic Mania actually managed to kick it off its throne.

Like for many others, the Sonic franchise has always been a mixed bag for me. Not just are there games like Sonic 06, Shadow the Hedgehog, etc. that weren't very good, I personally didn't even care that much for even the more popular ones, such as Sonic CD or the GBA games.
Even the HUGE Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, especially when put together and merged into one like god intended, never really reached the pure greatness of Sonic 2 in my book, though I do still like S3&K a lot and would even go so far as to say that, objectively speaking, it is the better game. But I just didn't like it as much.

Which is why I was willing to except the suggestion that maybe I was a bit nostalgia-blind and would never love another game in the franchise as much as Sonic 2, no matter how great that other game would be. 
And then Sonic Mania came around.

I just love the fact that this game exists in the way that it does. Never before have that many passionate fans of a franchise gotten together with an actual publisher and developer of said series and given the budget and guidance they needed to see such a passion project through to the end, but Sonic Mania shows how wonderful the end result can be.
Even now I get goose bumps whenever I hear the Hyper Potions songs used in the trailers for this game and looking at the incredibly charming animations used in the announcement trailer and game intro fills me with so much joy since they are so reminiscent of the one thing I was always super hyped about when it comes to the otherwise pretty meh Sonic CD.

And then there's the game itself, which basically feels like what would've happened if they fully fleshed out the Classic Sonic sections in (the pretty good) Sonic Generations without screwing up the physics and leaving the visuals in sprite-based 2D.
Yes, there could and maybe should have been more original stages and the fact that some of those recycled here have already been remade in other Sonic games is a bit of a bummer, but what they did with them, the way they remade the music and re-designed big parts of these stages is incredibly masterful and they absolutely nailed the controls and feel of the 16-bit originals while still making use of technical advancements wherever appropriate.
Plus, there now is the "new" Drop Dash mechanic which is probably one of the most natural feeling additions to any old franchise I have ever seen, though as it turns out, Sonic Mania wasn't actually the first time this ability was used, since there was a prototype of Sonic 3 discovered that had it too.

The game just oozes with love for classic Sonic and there are very few things I can imagine that would improve this game, besides the aforementioned more original stages.
If you used to love Sonic and have fallen out of favor with the franchise, this game is an absolute MUST. But even if you never cared for or even tried any 16-Bit Sonic game, I still urge you to play this one to see what the fuss is about, though I am aware how much this game relies on nostalgia and catering to a very specific part of the audience. So if modern Sonic is more your jam, there is a chance that this one's not gonna be doing it for you.

For me, though, it's exceptional and my absolute favorite game in the franchise.
«Blew my mind»
«OST on repeat»

Other reviews12

Completed as of writing this review: 100%.

An another "nostalgia trip" for Sonic fans, who will never shut up about how stupid it is for Sonic to have a voice.

Jk, the game is actually very fun, enjoyable, and most importantly, accurate to the classic physics (something, that Sonic Team has struggled to do in Generations and Forces). The only problem however is that it's not really "new". It's mostly a remixed version of the classics, the major reason of which is a plot point, that makes it a prequel to Forces. That's the biggest problem since if you have played (or still playing) those classics regularly, you might find Mania to be lacking in originality. It's there, but not as much as needed.

tl;dr The game is good, but too much relies on nostalgia and lacks (mostly) something new. It's worth buying only if you just need another reason to play MegaDrive games, but in a fresh coat of paint and remixed.
«Just one more turn»
«Can’t stop playing»
Best Sonic in a long time.
i like how it looks but it plays a little bad ngl!!!!
«Better with friends»
Great music. Best classic Sonic has ever been.
«OST on repeat»
«Can’t stop playing»
«Sit back and relax»
8/10 - Happy birthday funny hedgehog <3
«Blew my mind»
«OST on repeat»
The best bits of Sonic 3 and Sonic CD mashed together with care. Not so much a new story as a celebration of the 2D Sonic era. Considerably tougher to beat than the original games.
«OST on repeat»
if you like 2d sonic, you'll like this. a couple of the overarching level ideas and some of the level elements are kinda weird, but they always work.
Truly a sonic game made by fans, a love letter if you will. Paired with an absolutely fantastic soundtrack, this is the Sonic game I'd been waiting years for!
«Blew my mind»
«Beaten more than once»
This is the first "Classic" styled Sonic game I've actually played. Having started with Sonic Adventure, I was surprised by the simplicity of the controls. Also, rather than immediately running fast as you do in the 3D games, you have to build momentum. I kept thinking I was missing something in the gameplay - for example, the homing attack is absent (which I've since learned is almost exclusively a 3D Sonic mechanic).
«Beaten more than once»
Heart-warming, enchanting retro authenticity in Sonic Mania, which feels like the best version of an early 1990's platformer that could possibly exist. Along with Shovel Knight.