Sonic fans have had it rough the past couple of years. Between crossovers and unusual ideas, like Sonic Unleashed, it has become increasingly difficult to be a sonic fan. Generations reminded us what made Sonic great and it seems like Forces and Mania are trying to capture the original spark.
With the classic look, it’s easy to get lost in nostalgia. Be it returning to Green Hill Zone or experiencing new locations, Sonic Mania feels like the good ol’ days.
While playing through Green Hill Zone, it felt like a new twist on the iconic level. Classic elements were there, including thorns, walls you can roll through, the original look/enemies and even the container that held wild animals. In so many ways it felt like I was playing an extended version of the level I remember so fondly. One that now has new characters, zip lines and other things.
Even the boss was one of Eggman’s most iconic creations. Not the wrecking ball, which was featured in Forces demo, but the powersuit you fight from Death Egg Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Maybe not the same boss, as it now fires bombs and could shoot out its arms, but close enough where the presence of the iconic boss is more than enough to make fans happy.
As great as nostalgia is, I’m concerned that Sonic Mania might rely on it too much. Based off the demo, the two zones stick to their main objective. The new level looks fresh, where as Green Hill Zone is filled with memories of past adventures. It’s hard to tell where exactly Sonic Mania will land, be it tasteful homage to the original games or something so filled with nostalgia that it becomes forgettable, but based off the demo, it will be fun and that is more than can be said of many recent titles.