Sonic Mania

released on Aug 15, 2017

Experience the ultimate celebration of past and future in Sonic Mania! Re-live the Sonic of the past with an exciting new twist on classic zones while fighting against new bosses and Dr. Eggman’s evil robot army. Go head to-head with players in Competition Mode or play in Co-Op Mode with a friend.

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Did they HAVE to bring back hydrocity?

Sonic Mania, much like Sonic Generations, is a celebration of Sonic, specifically Classic Sonic, however, what this game does that Gens doesn't, is stand toe to toe together with the classic games in levels of quality
The soundtrack is amazing and wow, this game looks great
It may not be as great as 3&K but it's still a worthy experience

The game that reintroduced me to Sonic as a franchise, and that still goes hard af.

What an absolute return to form. This game was by the fans for the fans of classic sonic. This is effectively the missing link between the Saturn and Dreamcast Era of Sonic.
It plays wonderfully, the music is fantastic and the bosses are pretty great too. My only real issue with this game is certain level design choices, and a weak final encounter for getting all the Chaos Emeralds. That said the playable character variety is top tier in this game.

First of all I gotta praise this game where it deserves it, for such a small team, this game has insane pixel art you could gush about for ages, the game is packed full of artistic charm and attention to detail. It really shows that this game is a labour of love from the developers and artists whom worked on it. The music also bangs, those remixes especially SLAM.
Alright, so why don't I like this game? Basically, its the controls. All three playable characters feel extremely floaty and hard to wrangle, they keep drifting away from where you want them to go, and often into the path of danger. I was almost ALWAYS taking damage, and I hardly ever finished any zone with more than one single ring. Another issue I had with this game is that for a game where you "gotta go fast" you are rarely going fast. Sonic and pals walk through levels, speeding up to a light jog, and them maybe in very rare cases actually break out into a super-sonic sprint, only to be interrupted seconds later by a wall or enemy, killing the vibe in a shower of rings. Boss fights were very easy, hit the enemy three or five times and they die, attacks are usually very easy to dodge, and if it catches you off guard, you can come back for another attempt quickly, once you spend one or two lives learning a boss' attack patterns it becomes trivial. Coming off Hollow Knight, bosses felt very underwhelming.
This game was not worth what I paid for it, around A$20 back in 2017. I was really looking forward to this game, and I was disappointed then, and I was reminded of why I was disappointed when I picked it up again to finish the last few levels these last couple of evenings.