It’s been a long time coming, but Sega finally seems to have a Sonic game in the works that properly compliments where Sonic 3 & Knuckles left off with the upcoming Sonic Mania.
Seven minutes of gameplay footage from this year’s PAX West in Seattle, Washington revealed two of the stages from the upcoming side-scroller, Green Hill Zone and Studiopolis Zone. The footage looks uber delicious and the music is pitch perfect. It’s literally the kind of Sonic game that made us fall in love with the blue hedgehog with an attitude back in the 1990s. Check it out below, courtesy of IGN.
The video blazes through the first part of Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic: The Hedgehog, and then it moves into the new stage featured in Sonic Mania called Studiopolis Zone. It’s a stage centered around media studios and lights, cameras, theaters and endorsements. I’m almost curious if there’s an “ethics in media journalism” dig in there?
The music and atmosphere stand out most of all. It looks and feels like a legitimate successor to Sonic & Knuckles. It’s the Sonic 4 game gamers have been craving.
Additionally, the physics are spot on. Nitro Fun and PagodaWest Games have really managed to capture the speed and weight of Sonic, so he has just enough grip, just enough slip, and plenty of speed to make the stages feel cohesive, challenging and fast. That was one of the core things missing from Sonic 4, which had awful level designs, poor physics and terrible character designs.
And even though I loved Freedom Planet, it still had the slippery-physics issue that some other platformers have, and couldn’t quite capture the solid feel of 16-bit Sonic games. It came close, though.
With Sonic Mania I’m really liking what Sega is doing with the game and there’s a ton of potential with the title given that it could most certainly revive the brand worth of Sonic similar to way Sonic Generations did so many years ago. You can look for Sonic Mania to launch next year in the spring of 2017 for home consoles and PC.