In 2006 I died a little inside.
Sonic the Hedgehog or Sonic ’06 as it’s now more commonly known was unleashed upon the public. So much was wrong with it. Bugs, bestiality storyline, horrendous new character Silver, it was a total car crash of a game.
More importantly however it was the sign of a turning point in the Sonic franchise, a clear signal that the old Sonic we knew and loved was dead and 3D gameplay, shitty characters and ridiculous plots were here to stay. Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 and even Sonic Heroes could be slightly forgiven, they still maintained some of the cartoonish playful charm of the classics but Sonic ’06. Never forget.
In some bizarre effort to make up for Sonic ’06, Sega went crazy. Each subsequent Sonic game added more characters, ridiculous plot points and mind bending gameplay mechanics, far removed from what made a Sonic great in the first place and the Sonic Cycle was born.
Finally in 2011 someone at Sega saw sense and we were given Sonic Generations, a fantastic blend of classic platforming for the old school and some 3D action for the mentally insane who liked the new into-the-screen gameplay mechanic (if I’m honest I thought those sections were pretty fun in Generations). Aside from the weak plot which could be easily ignored, it was everything the fans could have wanted however Sega failed to run with its success, there was no DLC and no follow up.
Fast forward to a few days ago and we find Sonic is in a sorry state. The franchise has been rebooted for the millionth time, now Sonic has a scarf, Knuckles has a roids addiction and Amy, well, Amy looks like a whore. Oh yeah and there’s another character, I don’t know its name, I don’t care.
Sega just doesn’t seem to have learned a goddamn thing…well until today.
Christian Whitehead (friend to Poly’s and Pixels alike (I have it on good authority he enslaves and abuses Voxels)) who rose to fame a few years ago after creating the wonderful ports of Sonic 1, 2 and CD for mobile platforms seems to have finally gotten his own way in Sega HQ.
His latest creation is Sonic Mania, a true throwback to what Sonic is all about; speed, 2D platforming, sprites and remaining silent for as much as possible. It looks like its going to be a wonderful homage to the original games along with some newly designed levels in which the attention to detail is incredible. In the trailer we see the Daytona van and the Sonic Popcorn machine (from a Japanese arcade game) included as props, sprite fixes have been made to original backdrops which only a true fan would’ve noticed in the first place, Sonic’s cut jump animation upon finishing a level has been placed back in the game and the music, my god the music. Someone has given Christian and his team the keys to the candy store. God help the man who tries to get them back.
I’ll leave you with a trailer for the game along with some gameplay footage, so you can see for yourself how glorious this game is likely to be and how the Sonic Cycle may eventually be broken. This is one that OOC is going to be watching closely.