Sonics back, faster than ever and feeling like himself!
Sonic Mania starts with an awesome introduction video, that just shows everything I love about sonic, it’s honestly a joy. Taking us back to the classic side-scrolling platform game, the level designs and classic 8-bit music Sonic Mania Plus is a testimony to the old sonic formula. The game follows the events of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Doctor Eggman has an elite group of robots called the EggBots who provide some fun and well-designed boss fights.
The game mechanics have been updated and feel at home on the switch, the characters control really well, they each boast different skills and abilities which make each playthrough feel that much different. It controls and plays just as you would expect a true sonic game to play, with the recent decline of our lovable blue speedster it really is nice to see him back at his best. One thing that the game doesn’t do well is explain the abilities, some abilities are very obvious and do not need you to be told how to do them. however, abilities like Sonics drop roll is very useful to be able to fluidly move from jump to spin. it’s extremely helpful but not explained.
Level design as mentioned is extremely well done, everything feels fluid and the art style to each level matches the enemies within them very well. It’s really enjoyable to speed your way throughout the levels and replaying each level is a must as secrets are spread throughout the level. Each stage consists of two acts and there are twelve stages in total, but as I mentioned, you have to replay each level to get the most out of them. Giant Golden rings allow you to access the 3D levels from Sonic-CD and grant you access to the Choas gems, collecting all of these unlocks allow you to access secret transformations.
At the end of each Act, you are presented with a Boss battle and I have to admit they are really fun within this game, each boss is different and you even get to play Dr.Robotnic in a Tetris like mini-game. The boss battles are well designed and fit the level designs really well, the Eggbots are really cool and give you so interesting ways to fight them. My only problem with the bosses is that they are quite easy, it’s pretty easy to just tank the damage and use the invulnerability period to just keep hitting the boss and kill them.
As for replayability, the game boasts a time attack mode in which you have to complete the levels as quick as possible, also with the DLC they have included a new mode called Encore mode. Encore mode changes up the levels and gives you the option to change your characters whilst playing levels, this really allows you to explore more of the level and find as many secrets as you can. Also instead of lives, you collect characters, once you die you lose a character, but with the two new additions in Ray the Flying Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo I’m sure you will speed through it!
Personal Rating – 8.5/10
I’m still casually playing the game and enjoying it to its max. If you’re a Sonic fan this game is a love letter to you.
Have you played Sonic Mania Plus? What did you think? Thanks for reading!