As a Sonic fan since my youth, it’s safe to say that the days of dominance for the blue blur have long been over. Gone are the days of 2D innovation like Sonic the Hedgehog 3, or 3D excellence such as Sonic Adventure 2. It’s been over a decade since I’ve been excited for a Sonic game, that game being Sonic Mania.
A return to form to the 2D, Genesis origins of the franchise, Sonic Mania is a departure from the recent crop of 2.5D side scrollers that Sega has been releasing, a format I don’t particularly enjoy playing when it pertains to the Hedgehog. Sonic Mania remakes and remasters a handful of classic stages throughout the history of the Genesis years. From the Flying Battery Zone originally in Sonic & Knuckles, to the Chemical Plant Zone in Sonic 2, not only are they getting an HD facelift, but also remixed audio. A couple of those tracks have hit YouTube, and they sound absolutely amazing, to the point where Data Disc is releasing a vinyl edition of the soundtrack.
So with all that going for this game, and the excitement that I’ve seen along the interwebs from the gaming community, it’s a damn shame that Sonic Mania is going to be a download only title. When it releases on August 15th, I want to be front and center in line, not only to pick up a great game, but to support Sega, a company that meant so much to me in younger gaming days. The mistake here is that a lot of retro gamers and collectors alike, are opposed to digital media, thus, won’t be buying Sonic Mania on XBLA, PSN, or Switch. Instead, we have to hold out hope that perhaps down the line, a physical edition gets released. I know I’ll be waiting for that moment, because then, Sega can unhand me of my $20 faster than Sonic wearing a pair of speed shoes.