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It’s Sonic Mania’s 5th Anniversary


Dreadknux
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Sonic Mania was released on this day (15 August) 2017, five years ago. And for a brief few moments, the fanbase knew not of conflict or pain; only joy.

Developed by Christian Whitehead and Headcannon (a studio operated by Simon ‘Stealth’ Thomley, a collaborator with Whitehead on past Sonic mobile projects) in association with PagodaWest Games, Sonic Mania tried to answer the question, “What if a ‘new’ 2D Sonic game was made for the SEGA 32X?” If Mania is any indication, that game would have been pretty great.

From it’s crazy announcement at a Sonic community event in the US, to the game’s appearance at Summer of Sonic and its critically acclaimed launch, Sonic Mania is quite rightly loved by many - if not most - fans around the world. For many fans - myself included - the game actually reignited their passion for the blue blur and made everyone believe that Sonic could be great again.

Let’s use this topic to share our memories and favourite moments from the game! There are loads of great highs for me, but a particular highlight is the Silver Sonic cameo in Stardust Speedway’s boss event. So good!

op mania GIF

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5 years!? How!!? I remember the excitement of recieving the super deluxe edition and eagerly awaiting the download to complete while I unboxed the statue and marvelled at every detail of the 1991-92 mega drive era artwork. It was like being 10 years old again, and the buzz I had starting it up I'd not felt since 1994!

The game is still, in my view every bit the equal to S3&K and is my joint favourite of all the sonic games...it just felt like a perfect continuation of the classic era. The only thing missing was "4" from the title 😉!! The gameplay, level design, sprites, multiple play options...it was perfect for OG fans like myself. 

When Maina+ was released later on I picked up the physical edition (again, the 1994 era mega drive art was amazing on the reverse of the sleeve) and was astounded at how much fun it was to play through with Mighty and Ray and the whole encore mode character swap option. I also like the phantom ruby being the objective as opposed to the master emerald / emeralds.

I still await mania 2! Please soneone, somwhere make it happen soon!! (And include both Emerald and Mushroom Hill zones if so!)

 

 

 

 

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Sonic Mania is possibly my favorite 2D Sonic game. It's either Mania or it's Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The two are both excellent in their own way, and I just can't decide which one I love more.

Since its release, I've played Mania many times. The zones are fun, the special stages are the best in the entire franchise, the playable characters all feel distinct and offer something special, and the general feel and vibe of the game is just super cool, you know? Mania just feels like a love letter to classic Sonic. It takes everything great about that era of the franchise and expands on it, culminating in a game that's truly a joy to play from start to finish.

Also, I love the Hard-Boiled Heavies. Best new characters of the 2010s, easily.

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For as much flak as it gets for breaking the pace of the game, my Mania highlight is the CPZ Mean Bean Machine boss.

 

I eat that kind of self-interpreting lore connective tissue for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its a little nod to the history of the franchise that makes the whole thing feel like one seamless package. Mania in of itself was a greatest hits album; but that one came out of left field and brings me back to an obscure little pocket of the franchise that may or may not ever see the light of day again.

 

I see why people complain about it, but I'll just sit here smug and content knowing I got something that I didn't know I even needed.

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I can't believe it's already been five years!

I think the developers did everything right with Sonic Mania, keeping enough of the Genesis games' identity while also moving forward and adding new things.

I feel like a sequel to Sonic Mania should consist entirely of new zones, just to be consistent with all of the Genesis games which never reused level themes.

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I've been in love with the game for five years now,  and even more with the "Encore Mode"!!...
But I'll talk about what bothers (or bothered) me...

In the beginning, I was disappointed by some incoherences with the canon, then I realized it was Classic Sonic (and not Sonic) and found the fact it took place in another dimension (the one created by the events of SONIC GENERATIONS) great : it was a pleasure to play with Classic Sonic who shares the same background as Sonic in his youth but now lives his own adventures in his dimension derived from Sonic's past!!...
And I love the way Little Planet and Metal Sonic are back both in Classic Sonic's timeline (MANIA) and Sonic's timeline (SONIC 4)!!...
And the way it is linked to SONIC FORCES (Classic Sonic and the Phantom Ruby... even if some of the Phantom Ruby's powers of what becomes of it in the end of the game aren't clear in my head)!!...

I am very disappointed by the animated opening : it's a good idea to have an animated intro in the style of the SONIC CD animation but, for me, it's a kind of waste of time since, contrary to the one in SONIC CD, the intro is not part of the story of the game, they should have made it part of the storyline (in SONIC CD, it's great since the intro leads the player to Little Planet and Palmtree Panic)!!...

The fact most of the Zones are not brand new zones may seem disappointing but they are longer and above all they are greatly reconstructed, so it feels like a brand new experience!!...
The new zones are really fun, even if enjoy Press Garden a bit less than the others : Studiopolis, Mirage Saloon and Titanic Monarch are stunning!!...

Concerning the Special Stages, I don't like them and can't get more then four or five Chaos Emeralds : they are almost unplayable for me!!...

Now, the "Encore Mode" :
I was blown away by the mini-intro on Angel Island and the way it was linked to SONIC FORCES, then I got disappointed because they should have changed more things : I mean in SONIC 3 & KNUCKLES, it was clear Knuckles' adventure took place after Sonic & Tails' adventure and continued the quest, there are so many clues like the ghosts being already out of the Egg Prison in Sandopolis, Launch Base being very damaged, the Sonic robot destroyed by Knuckles and so on!!...
In SONIC MANIA's Encore Mode, after the refreshing intro, it is exactly the same game as the original run in MANIA (except for the colours, which at least make a visible difference) : at least, they should have changed the order of the levels and some transitions, and put clues the first run happend!!...
Therefore, I don't really understand what happens in the Encore Mode : Has the Phantom Ruby brought back Classic Sonic in time and erased the first run in SONIC MANIA or is it just a second but identical adventure?!...
But if I am disappointed compared to Knuckles' adventure in S3&K (as far as the storytelling is concerned), I am blown away by the new way of playing a SONIC game it created : the gameplay is almost entierely renewed and stunning, and Classic Ray and Classic Mighty are great additions to the roster!!...
I'm in love with the Encore Mode, even if disappointed compared to Knuckles's adventure in S3&K : it could have been even better with a few changes!!...

Five years later, I still don't understand why SEGA hasn't  released a SONIC MANIA 2 game since the game was a critical and commercial hit!!...
If SONIC MANIA 2 comes to be one day, I hope it will reimagine lost levels like for instance Wood Zone or the R2 level from SONIC CD  (I'm so dissapointed SEGA didn't let Christian Whitehead add everything he wanted in his improved version of SONIC CD, it seemed like an incredible gift for fans... and even SONIC ORIGINS wasn't allowed to offer the fans these new additions) and will continue Classic Sonic's adventures!!...
I love Sonic's adventures when he was younger, I love (Modern) Sonic's adventures when he is a bit older and I love Classic Sonic's adventures!!...
 

(By the way, what happens to the Heavy King in the end of the game in Mirage Saloon?!...
Has it become a "good guy"?!...)




 

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  • 1 month later...

I'm late to this topic, but AAAAAAH!!!  I got Sonic Mania back when it first came out, but have rediscovered this game over the past couple of months and I love it more than I can put into words. 

The boss levels are SO FREAKING CLEVER.  I love the homage to Mean Bean Machine, and I love figuring out what each boss battle's patterns and weaknesses are.

I love revisiting versions of older zones from Sonic 1 2 3 and CD; I ADORE the music.  The aesthetics of each zone are AMAZING.  Press Garden makes me tear up with how beautiful it is, and Studiopolis is so unbelievably fun!

I've only started really working my way through this game in earnest, and I'm at Press Garden.  Not that I mind.  I could lose myself in how calm and pretty it is.

I love playing as Tails.  He's my favourite Sonic character and just makes everything so much more enjoyable for me!

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