This week has turned into Sonic week! Which is fine by me, although I rarely talk about him (because of the quality of the titles) but I was a full on Sonic fan in the early 90s. My brothers and I literally played Sonic 1 & 2 for months on end after release; hell we even roped in our sisters to play the multiplayer in Sonic 2 and they also loved it!
Sonic was quality! His games were quality and everyone knows it! Once he went 3D though it all went to shit, the quality dropped off the face of a cliff and plummeted so deep not even James Cameron could find it (find out why this happened here)!
But ‘Sonic Mania’ is coming and it looks bloody fantastic; Sonic looks like he has gotten his groove back and I for one am excited to play this game when it lands in 2017. While the entire trailer is absolute fire, here are the five things that I liked the most.
The Sonic Sprite & it’s full speed effect
The redesign that Sonic went under for the 3D games was, frankly, poor. He lost his tubby tummy and in its place was long legs and spikes that got progressively longer the more the franchise continued until we got to the stage of ‘Sonic Boom’ in which Sonic is a travesty, both to man and God!
In Mania though his look is much closer to the sprite used in ‘Sonic 3’ and it looks fantastic! We are back to the look that made Sonic a cultural icon – his tummy is back and there are many more frames of animation (as there should be) which all combines to make; possibly, the best Sonic sprite we have ever seen. I love everything about it, from the face of sonic to the circular motion his legs make when running at speed…
…and running at speed shows off the all new full speed effect and it really is something. It harks back to a time when ghosting was a real issue and uses it to great effect. It looks modern yet retro, it looks fantastic!
The Drop dash
‘Sonic Mania’ gets rid of all the unnecessary add-ons that Sonic Team have added through the years and goes back to basics. Better than this, it goes back to the formula of the original trilogy – iteration rather than revolution.
The drop dash is the epitome of this.
It is a move that not only makes sense within the world SEGA created, but it is a natural progression of the spin dash in ‘Sonic 2’ – this move single-handedly proves that the developers fully understand Sonic and are doing everything in their power to give the community everything they want.
It will also be amazing for the speedrunning community – I love watching Sonic speedruns and I cannot wait to see how this gets utilised by them!
The Boss Fight
Well, doesn’t this look familiar?
Looks exactly like the very first Robotnik fight in Sonic the Hedgehog! I absolutely adore this type of boss fight, patiently waiting for your opportunity to strike and making the boss pay for their hubris. Like the drop dash, this is a powerful statement of intent from the developers.
Gone are the trial and error style bosses of the 3D era, gone are those annoying endless runner bosses from the ‘Sonic Rush’ series and back are the classic, pattern remembering bosses that are challenging but beatable if you can learn their moves. I am hoping for a Metal Sonic boss and a Super Sonic finale – C’mon!
The soundtrack to this trailer screams ‘Sonic CD’ and that is A-OK in my book! Sonic CD has; arguably, the greatest soundtrack of the 16-bit era! I just hope the rest of the songs in the rest of the game are of the same quality.
The 16-bit “Mode 7” Effect on the title screen
We all know that “blast-processing” was an absolute sham, right?
Do you know what wasn’t a sham though? Do you know what was absolutely legit?
Mode 7 on the SNES! 10 year old Luvva would never admit to this but I was super jealous of my SNES owning friends when they showed me Super Mario Kart. I wished my Mega Drive could do these things; but it just couldn’t…
…those ‘Sonic 2’ special stages though gave me something to lord over them though! The fact that at the very end of this trailer we see a mode 7 island spinning in the background fills me with hope that these special stages make a comeback. The dream is that it is a combination of the original 3 special stages – I would love to revisit the spinning mazes, half-pipes and globes in order to collect the chaos emeralds!
Make this happen!
Above all else, I am just excited that we are finally getting a 2D Sonic after all these years, and the fact that SEGA are trusting the man who did the ‘Sonic CD’ port fills me with hope that they finally realised what made the game popular in the first place.
I pray that ‘Sonic Mania’ is good not because I want it to be, but because Sonic deserves better than what hes gotten over the last 20 years.
What did you like about the Sonic Mania trailer?
What do you want to see?
Tell me in the comments!