SEGA seems quite happy with the success of last year’s release of Sonic Mania. Sonic Team took a risk with passionate independent developers has paid off. After it became quite possibly the best commercial iteration of 2D Sonic, SEGA thought it would be best to entice players with not just added content but also a reason for players to put it on their shelf. SEGA is giving you several ways to experience Sonic Mania Plus, the expansion for the original Sonic Mania coming out for all digital releases of the game including Steam as well as disc and cart based versions for all consoles containing the full game and the Plus content. SEGA was kind enough to give us a Nintendo Switch copy for review a week before launch.
Much of what you come to expect from Mania echoes from Neo Hazard’s review when the game originally released. A lot of it’s key points remain the same here, such as sharing significant connections with the development team that could show bias in this review. If you want to know more about the main game, you can read about those thoughts in Neo’s original review. Surprisingly the development team also saw fit to make changes to the main game to tighten up the experience in some areas which does not need the Plus expansion. This includes revised boss patterns, updated level layouts to accommodate for the new characters and making certain challenges easier to handle. Whether you’re buying into Mania for the first time or looking to check out Encore Mode with Ray and Mighty, this review will cover what’s changed and what’s new. The Plus in Sonic Mania refers to the fact that it really is just more of Sonic Mania. While there is one new level the Plus content is more of a remix of what all is available. This is ideal for those who have mastered Sonic Mania along with more features that are enticing to newcomers and the small price is like leaving a generous tip at your favorite walk-in restaurant.
A new E3 means a new Sonic game and this year’s major Sonic release is a pseudo-sequel to Sumo Digital’s SEGA crossover games. While the first outing had SEGA’s superstars matching together in SEGA Superstars Tennis, the remaining titles revolved around Mario Kart racer-inspired titles with the previous one featuring transforming vehicles in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. As the name implies, Team Sonic Racing calls for Sonic & Nobody Else All-Stars Team Racing. Some folks from Sonic Retro and SEGAbits, including myself had hands on playtime from SEGA’s booth at the show floor. You can either hit the jump to check out impressions from me and Neo Hazard or hop over to our sister site SEGAbits for a tertiary (or perhaps quaternary) view from SEGAbits writers Kori-maru and Dakota.
When looking to define what Sonic the Hedgehog is, many elements can spring to mind. The surreal landscapes, the boppin’ tunes, the cool blue ‘tude. But one of the core elements to the hedgehog’s persona? Speed. So it only makes sense that, over the years, the character has been put in a multitude of games that epitomizes what speed is: the racing genre.
At the end of 2018’s SXSW Sonic panel, the next new Sonic game was teased by SEGA. With some select sound effects and that all-too-familiar “R” logo, it was clear that another racing title was slated to hit stores in the not-too-distant future. As to what form that would be, the public at large was left in the dark until today, when the first proper teaser for Team Sonic Racing went live on the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube channel:
Since the 90’s, speculation as to the future of Sonic the Hedgehog has always been a lively, if sometimes wild, topic of conversation. Fortunately for us, the future looks a little bit clearer as of today. After the double punch of Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, people have been clamoring for a taste of what’s to come next, which is why all eyes turned to the “Gotta Go Fast” panel at this year’s SXSW.
Once again, Aaron Webber led the proceedings of what has become a yearly function for the crew over at SEGA. Joined by Austin Keys, Tyson Hesse, Jasmin Hernandez, and Sonic Team’s own Takashi Iizuka, the panel spent the next hour going across all aspects of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Some jokes were had, some things were teased, and some pretty swell announcements were made.
Sonic Mania is now older than a month. What was once a pipedream of a brand new Sonic developed by fans has finally happened. David The Lurker, Cinossu, Overlord, Bartman3010 and InstantSonic lend their voices to talk about the Mania and not-so Mania about Sonic’s return to 2D glory before the start of this year’s Sonic Amateur Games Expo and the Sonic Hacking Contest. Music composed by Tee Lopes. Expect spoilers in this one!
Inside SEGA’s booth were a dozen demo stations for both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces making their first and last E3 appearance. Con-goers did their best to pilfer posters given out any way they can. E3 was packed this year due to the convention allowing the public to enter for the first time in years which means the lines were more than double and that means plenty of eager people wanting to check out whats new.
Hit the jump for our thoughts. (Bartman3010 and Neo Hazard)
What do you do when you have not one but two major releases coming out featuring the world’s most famous hedgehog? You spoil your audience by giving them a ton of information, whetting their appetite for what’s to come. And what better time to do that than at E3?
Slated for release during the 2017 Holiday season, Sonic Forces is the game that has baffled some and intrigued others. During the build up to E3’s opening day, SEGA has been sharing all sorts of new information regarding both Classic and Modern Sonic’s gameplay, as well as the new “Avatar” character. This has culminated in a reveal trailer that not only shows all three gamestyles off, but also reveals a new villainous character in the Sonic pantheon.
Click the jump to read on about Sonic’s latest foray in three dimensional platforming.
After getting a sneak peek during a Nintendo Direct earlier this month, we now have our first full look at some Classic Sonic gameplay in Sonic Forces. And yes, it’s Green Hill Zone again. Though now it’s no longer much of a tropical island and more a grassy field in a desert. Also it has all new music rather than another Green Hill remix, so that’s something.