SEGA announced at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend that Sonic Mania will include bonus stages reminiscent of those found in Sonic CD.
Additionally, SEGA released a screenshot of the bonus stage, along with its theme, titled “Dimension Heist”, on YouTube. Like previously released tracks from Sonic Mania, the new theme is composed by the talented Tee Lopes and mixed/mastered by Falk Au Yeong.
Those who have played Sonic CD will notice the similarities right away. This is all done with intent, of course, as Sonic Mania borrows heavily from, inarguably, the greatest era of Sonic the Hedgehog games, the 90s – even including updated versions of classic stages.
Sonic the Hedgehog games haven’t really wowed audiences in quite some time. The series had a dreadfully awkward phase where the blue hedgehog was wielding swords and turning into a werewolf, which ended up unintentionally distancing itself from its fanbase. There were more recent attempts to modernize the franchise, such as Sonic Boom, but they just weren’t hitting the marks fans wanted.
With Sonic Mania, however, the series is going back to its roots, and the reception has been much more positive. While it may seem as if SEGA is merely plucking at familiar nostalgic chords to make sales, a closer look at the game will convince you otherwise. The game’s most recent trailer does a good job of previewing what players can look forward to, which includes new stages, reimagined classic stages, and very catchy new music tracks.
SEGA appears to be listening to fans for this title, which is boding well for it. In fact, much of the game’s soundtrack is composed by Tee Lopes, a fan who once made remixes of Sonic tunes one YouTube. Instead of shutting him down, SEGA hired the guy, and he’s really helped capture the style that Sonic Mania is going for through his music. His stuff can easily go toe-to-toe with some of the series’ greatest, like Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone theme.
Sonic Mania will launch for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in Summer 2017.