You can’t always get what you want… unless it’s a Sonic Saturn game
Finally, it’s the Sonic game we’ve been wanting and hoping for since 1995. Sonic Team never made a true next-gen, 2D Sonic game for Saturn, but this alluring gem has been designed to look as though it’s running on that machine. Despite the iconic Green Hill Zone making a return, beginning as a blow-for-blow retread of the original Sonic The Hedgehog, this is no HD remake. For starters, it’s not HD at all, but thanks to gorgeously pixellated, all-new retro-styled artwork, it’s utterly lovely to look at. Secondly, the classic level soon branches off into new territory, followed by all-new zones to explore. The playable trio of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles all look magnificent, full of personality and boasting smoother animation and deeper colour palettes. Best of all, it moves exactly like Mega Drive Sonic, only with an extra move – the ‘drop dash’ – and a couple of minor improvements to jump physics in certain situations, like vertical wall runs and item box bounces.
Even in its current unfinished state, Sonic Mania is an absolute joy to play, with fun, engaging and interesting things to do everywhere in the environment, and flowing, canny level design by a development team that clearly ‘gets’ what Sonic should be about. Be excited – the decades-long wait for a proper 2D Sonic sequel is almost over. Nothing less than superb will do.