Sonic the Hedgehog fans have been clamoring for a return to the series’ roots for years. Now, Sega has teamed up with Christian Whitehead to make those wishes a reality with Sonic Mania.
Coming in 2017, Sonic Mania is a definitive return to the character’s Genesis origins. Players will take control of Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles through a series of 16-bit stages. The game will feature remixed versions of classic stages, as well as entirely new ones.
Based on the trailer, the classic city and casino levels are huge influences here. Considering the game will launch with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in mind, I’m interested to see just how open and dynamic these stages end up being.
Personally, I think this is a smart move for Sega. Sonic Boom is clearly a hit with a certain demographic (read: children,) but game fans want more. The new Sonic games also have a following, but a sizable audience wants more of the old stuff. With Sonic Mania, everybody gets what they want.
It’s also worth it to point out that, with this, the Sonic brand is being split multiple different ways. This is a super interesting way to manage a franchise. It’s not something you’d see with, say, Mario. There are now three different Sonics out there; four if you include the comics. With this, it gives fans of all ages and tastes something that they can sink their teeth into.
I spent some hands-on time with Sonic Mania at the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party, and what I saw, I liked a whole lot, and will probably be sharing more thoughts in the next day or two. I will say, though, that people wanting more Classic Sonic will not come away disappointed.