We’re going back… THIS IS WHERE IT BEGINS!
Sonic Mania – Nintendo Switch – Released: 8/15/17 – $19.99
With music like this you can’t go wrong!
Having memories sitting in front of a “huge” tube TV and playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2/3/Knuckles will always be ingrained into my memory. Hearing that familiar click of inserting a Sega Genesis cartridge into my Sega Genesis and hearing that “SEGAAAA” each time will forever be with me. As a child sitting in front of the magazine rack at stores memorizing the codes to unlock Debug mode, all Chaos Emeralds and seeing screenshots of Sonic CD. Even though I would never play it until I was much older. This was a game I couldn’t wait for after what they did with Sonic the Hedgehog 4.
So waking up to hear a new 2D Sonic was coming and watching Sonic Mania’s trailer the first time, I couldn’t help but cry. Seeing Christian Whitehead’s name showcase first was a dream come true after owning the mobile ports it could only be two things being shown either a brand new game or Sonic 3 and Knuckles being re-released on mobile. Seeing the new sprite of Sonic with a stage I have never seen before. I couldn’t be happier but with each delay it drove me nuts seeing the gameplay footage at E3 and knowing it would soon be in my hands. I was able to peorder the Switch version as soon as it came up on Walmart’s website. I was even able to pick up the game a day early but the unlock code didn’t work so I waited until midnight…. and it still didn’t work…. waited until 4AM nothing…. Noon on release… nothing still…. 1 PM was when it was finally working!
5 hours later I had finished the game…. but that was just the beginning. I knew it was going to be easy to sink in 100 hours into this game and I couldn’t wait to get everything. It was such an amazing game! This game was going to be another great Sonic game under my belt of being able to say I was able to put 100 hours into it and I don’t plan on putting it down anytime soon. This is a game that I will easily pick up and run multiple times in a year with no issues, just like Sonic 2, 3 and Knuckles. Even though it has been a while since this game has released it is nothing short of great but the issues on Switch are still present with the home button delay and some bugs that require you to restart the level. Sonic Mania started as a dream come true and till this day I still feel like I am dreaming when I am playing it.
The icon hasn’t been updated but hopefully they add at least Sonic Mania under Sonic’s face:
Overall History of the Series
Where to begin? I guess I’ll only cover the original series which Sonic Mania stems from since it uses no elements from the newer games. Sonic the Hedgehog was first released in 1991 when Sega was in need of a new mascot for their 16-bit HD console. Sonic was an instant success being able to sell 22 million copies and now the mascot that could stand toe to toe with Mario. The only issue was he didn’t have a cool sidekick like Mario’s brother Luigi or Yoshi. So in 1992, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released and Sonic’s best friend, Miles “Tails” Prower was born. Sonic CD was the next game to release but there was a big issue, it was on the SEGA CD. A commercial failure for SEGA so they returned to the Genesis for Sonic 3 and Knuckles in 1994. Where Knuckles was first introduced out of the shadows of Angel Island deceived by Dr. Robotnik (Eggman) to delay Sonic every step of the way until he finds out that Dr. Robotnik was the real villain. These games weren’t as much of a success as the original but lead Sonic and SEGA to hold almost half the market share by 1997.
Things went downhill with the Dreamcast then dropping out of the console race all together. Sonic after this point would only see re-releases of the original games until 2010 where a glimmer of hope shown with a sequel to the original series with Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Was it our hope and savior for the fans of the original style? No…. So much so Episode 3 never came out much like another Episode 3 that will never come out. Once again there was hope with Sonic Generations when fans would cry harder for a true full return to the original style. Our prayers were finally answered with Sonic Mania and not just any Sonic game, one made by fans for the fans. Seeing the original trailer made me actually cry knowing that I would once again be able to live my childhood and with a game that was a sure fire hit.
I am more surprised that this game has a reason for everything happening. Sonic Mania takes the style of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles where things go from one to the next perfectly. Sonic Mania starts off with Sonic and Tails returning to Angel Island because it has again crashed into the sea. Where they find Dr. Robotnik’s robots messing with the newly created Phantom Ruby, which activates causing them to shift into a different dimension while his robots get turned into the Hard Boiled Heavies. They return to Green Hill Zone where the adventure begins.
The game takes you back and forth to different times and dimensions to deal with the Dr. Robotnik and the Hard Boiled Heavies which are causes trouble everywhere. Knuckles on the other hand starts off just relaxing on Angel Island when the Phantom Ruby is pulled out. This causes Knuckles to get up and prepare to fight when the Hard Boiled Heavies fly away with the Phantom Ruby. It then collides with him and knocks him out completely and causes another shift. He also ends up at Green Hill Zone but underground where he proceeds to do the same things Sonic/Tails head out to do. Stop Dr. Robotnik at all cause and get back the Phantom Ruby. Knuckles story’s does change a bit later on because like in Sonic and Knuckles he takes a different path than Sonic/Tails.
It is classic Sonic but with a little bit of a twist with the new Drop Dash ability which originally I had no clue how to perform but figured it out. You just tap the button again to hear a spinning noise and when you hit the ground it goes. Obviously I enjoy the gameplay since it is by Christian Whitehead, the man that gave us the amazing ports on mobile. I do have slight issue with the Emerald stages… They are too easy. I think I had trouble only with the 4th Emerald and after that it was smooth sailing. It was a bit of a let down considering how chaotic Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s final stage was. The Blue Spheres are just something I have grown to accept that I will never be good at them. I was able to completely finish them but only with Silver and some Gold medals. My biggest issue is I have no desire to learn them like the back of my hand since overall I don’t like them. This doesn’t break the game since I can just keep going and not worry about them.
Putting 100 hours into this game was an easy task my only issue is even after 100 hours some of the Blue Sphere stages I can’t beat with a Gold medal. I was never good at them and don’t see that changing anytime soon. It will be a very very long time before I 100% these just because I like to just run through the game and if I hit the checkmark point and jump I’ll do it and hope for the best. Outside of that this game was amazing to play even though I couldn’t play it exactly at midnight or even better earlier due to having the Collector’s Edition early. This was the game I wanted when Sonic the Hedgehog 4 came out and when I saw that Mania’s elevator didn’t include 4 on it. I knew that they understood that it was crap.
This to me is such a great game even with its slight bugs and home button issues. Having Sonic Mania is a dream come true for a fan of the original series. Don’t get me wrong I loved Adventure, Colors, Generations, and even Sonic Lost World. I liked them because they were Sonic and were fun enough but aren’t games I have returned to after they came out.
Sonic Mania’s soundtrack is something I can’t get out of my head either. It is just muah! Playing “Danger on the Dancefloor” or the “Hard Boiled Heavies” song just gets me in the mood to play. They easily set the mood and prepare me for what is coming. I’ve been just running through Sonic+Tails a ton but I did run through Knuckles a few times. I think Knuckles is a bit more of a comic relief play session since he really gets the short end of the stick when it comes to certain events in the game. For someone who is considered the most bad dude in the series…. he sure likes to get hit by things, off of things, or a comical cut scene showing the events of what happened in Sonic 3/Knuckles.
Sonic Mania, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 + Knuckles are games that I will likely never get tired of. Every year around my birthday I run through Sonic 2, get all the emeralds, and beat the game. Sonic Mania I could do the same thing but the issue is how long it is…. I really enjoy playing the entire game but the game is just as long as Sonic 3+Knuckles which stops me from playing it constantly. I have to start and stop all the time so I typically do 2 zones and come back to it another time or I will beat a zone while on the bus or train and switch to something else. Having 100 hours in this game is nothing compared to the hours I’ve spent in the previous games but one day I’m sure I’ll match the amount of hours in this game to the others in the series.
If you like the original Sonic games or you are too young for those but love the 2D sections of the newer Sonic games. Sonic Mania is a great purchase! As a big Sonic fan who still has the original games and boxes I only wish they released a physical copy of the game.
I would give this game a 9 out of 10! With Sonic Mania Plus coming I can easily see that one being a 10/10 though!
As many of you likely know by now or noticed in the site. Green Gamer is coming soon! It will star my girlfriend…. I can’t go into any more details currently due to the giveaway not being over. The first review starring here should be coming out next Sat/Sunday. I will still be giving normal reviews that cover a wider range of information. Her reviews will cover …. (insert after Weds). The giveaway will simply end if no one is able to get the final detail which seems to be the case so far. I will likely use the eShop card for another giveaway next month and go with something that is more question based that would require you to look through reviews which sounds interesting on paper. If there is any type of giveaway you would like let me know, it just can’t be respond to the post.
I have added a calendar to the side of my pages that will update everyone on what is coming up. As you can see I have a ton of games for this week due to the overwhelming number of emails and preparing for New York Comic Con. This dates for currently tentative and will likely change since I have received another game that I have to fit in and sadly the SNES Classic has magically stolen the better half of Friday. I will be going with my girlfriend as Professor Layton and Katrielle Layton for one day and the rest of the days will just be normal clothes, I know boring. I will be holding another giveaway soon because I found I have half a dozen indie games from Humble Bundle that I didn’t redeem and no longer want. I’ll give details for those later.
Head’s up on video reviews… I am listening and yes I will be eventually doing them. I understand that many people also want to be able to watch something instead of reading. I have been looking into capture devices for my computer but the issue is more so video editing. I have no experience in doing them outside of iMovie on Mac which is what I will toy around with until I am ready to make a full video. Another thing to talk about is updating the site… I am currently looking for someone to produce a logo and updated website icon logo. If anyone would like to send me something just private message me on Reddit. I am looking for something in the style of Nights into Dreams, Sonic the Hedgehog or Earthbound logos for the website logo then having the icon for the website be in an 8 or 16bit style. Of course this will be paid!
I am also asking people what is the best location to put the 100 hour screenshot since I don’t want it to be the first thing. So what are your suggestions? Currently it is a toss up for Pokken or One Piece but currently I am thinking Pokken might be better due to being able to cover how good a person can get in 100 hours of playing. I never put much time into the Wii U version so it would be interesting to see how far a person can go with minimum training and just going to the Pokken subreddit and discord for help. Just letting you guys know the Golf Story review has been delayed because of Comic Con after finding out how long the game is I just don’t have time this week to put that many hours into a game and deal with the bugs and glitches. I did move around some reviews up since I have already started working on them. That’s all for end credits so be on the look out for all the things!