Reviews - Updated on April 13, 2022

Choice Stopgame

Nostalgia works. So in 2K17 we call Nokia 3310, buy Love is gum and Dr. Pepper, after work we go to watch Terminator 2, and already at home we turn on Sonic Mania. A platformer made as if it were one thousand nine hundred and ninety some year in the yard, and the cartridge with the game was bought at the unforgettable “Gorbushka” for two hundred thousand rubles honestly earned by school fives.Sonic Mania game review

You don’t hear the music yet, and tears are already flowing down your cheeks.

Forward to the past

After an introductory cartoon that looks too much like a twenty-five-year-old TV series, a character selection screen, and a small cutscene from Sonic 3, it turns on … Green Hill Zone. The very first level of the very first part with the same music, driving straight into childhood. “Nostalgimeter” rolls over, you hold down “forward” and with a trained hand you free small animals from evil robots, smash TVs, collect golden rings and jump into sparkling halos of bonus levels.

When the heart begins to beat a little calmer, and the tears no longer prevent the cyborgs from landing on the heads, you notice that the level seems to have been changed. And more details, and bonus locations from the third part, and a mini-“boss” at the end. And protective fields from Sonic & Knuckles, and ropeways with paths that definitely didn’t exist before. A sense of novelty is added to the feeling of nostalgia – and the desire to run forward is a hundredfold stronger. And when springy jelly suddenly appears on the hated Chemical Plant Zone, you are no longer surprised, but only rejoice, as if your favorite transformer has learned to turn not only into an airplane, but also into a sports car.

And then – suddenly – one stage is unfamiliar. Well, how unfamiliar you are – you know that after a series of dead loops you will soar up, and then push off on a spring. And the music is very accurate to what it was five minutes ago, and Dr. Robotnik at the end is just as inventive as in Flying Battery Zone. And then you understand – childhood can be extended. For eight old zones in Sonic Mania, four completely new ones are made. It seems to be a little, but they create just a gorgeous balance between memories and the future, which Sonic, it turns out, has.

Sonic Mania game review

Sometimes the “upgrade” of the zones turns out to be completely unexpected – for example, we are offered to defeat the villain in Puyo Puyo.

Master Maniacs

And the fans will ensure this future, because it is them that SEGA instructed to arrange the return of their talisman. The development leader, Australian Christian Whitehead, has already become famous for porting the hedgehog to different platforms, and the small studios Headcannon and PagodaWest were engaged in unofficial projects in the blue hedgehog universe. As a result, as befits real maniac masters, the developers delved into the details – and did nothing “for show”. But, for example, they added filters for CRT TVs so that the experience was, well, completely authentic.

Plus they created amazing racing levels in three-dimensional graphics, similar to Sonic CD. Here you need to catch up with the flying saucer with the Chaos Emerald, accelerating due to the blue balls. Seven emeralds, if you remember, allow you to become almost invulnerable, Supersonic hovering above the ground. Tails the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna can also get their advanced form. But for them, the most important thing is the opportunity to appear at levels where these heroes did not exist before. In fact, Tails is an easy mode, and Knuckles is a complicated one, so the partners also work for balance.

In addition, in addition to the main campaign and the traditional “speedruns” (Time Attack) in Sonic Mania, you can rush together. On a split screen, just like in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Right in the same zones. The main thing is to find a second nostalgic one. A new movement has also been added to the heroes – it allows you to use a spin attack (Spin Dash) immediately after the jump. Again, a trifle, but nice.

If desired, Sonic Mania can be scolded for some little things. Firstly, the game is quite short – a dozen stages are passed, that is, it rushes by, in about five hours. Secondly, everything here comes from the 90s, and therefore for gamers of the Press X to win era it will be difficult in places, especially if you collect emeralds and play as Knuckles. And thirdly, the ending after such a great run can be disappointing.

Sonic Mania game review

What is the main enemy in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is just the “boss” of the level.

***

You need to play Sonic Mania, first turning on the Beastie Boys, Bloodhound Gang, Ivanushki or whatever you sounded twenty years ago in your Walkman player for the mood. You need to play Sonic Mania if you remember nightly gatherings for Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and broken six-button joysticks, or if your first Mortal Kombat was XL, and the joystick was already called a gamepad. You need to play Sonic Mania if you like platform games or if you have never touched any of them. In a word, you need to play Sonic Mania.

Pros: The best blue hedgehog game since tube TVs and cassette recorders.

Cons: conscience does not allow to search.

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