ByAna Valens, writer at
Writer and games critic. As seen at the Daily Dot, Waypoint, Kill Screen, Bitch Media, and ZEAL.
Ana Valens

It's safe to say that every Sonic the Hedgehog fan is excited for Sonic's upcoming 2D retro adventure, Sonic Mania. Stylized like the Sonic Genesis games of yesteryear, Mania looks to deliver on the classic fast-paced platforming formula that made the Sonic series so popular by literally recreating the experience. The game even looks like it's from the last century.

And if there was any doubt that Sonic Mania would be amazing, a new trailer for the game confirms that is interested in capturing that original series' charm. In Sonic Mania's latest trailer, Sega shows an animated version of a classic-styled racing through levels, eager to go on his next adventure alongside Tails the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna.

Also, we have an official release date from Sega: August 15th. We can't wait. But this is only the beginning of Sonic's glorious return.

There's plenty of information packed into the Sonic Mania trailer above. Here's what you need to know:

  • Sega is largely focusing on a '90s Sonic look. Cover art reveals art assets mirroring '90s Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. This really is a traditional Sonic game.
  • Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles each have special abilities that separate one another from each other, like Tails' flying or Knuckles' climbing and punching.
  • Sonic Mania launches August 15th this year for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Oh, and you can also pre-order Sonic Mania now for $19.99. Unless you want the Collector's Edition, which is a whopping $69.99. Either way, Sonic Mania is looking pretty killer, and we know the latest trailer is a strong sign that August 15th will be a great day for retro Sonic fans around the world.

Sega Is Truly Bringing Back Classic Sonic

[Source: Sega]
[Source: Sega]

This isn't the first time that Sega experimented with the Classic Sonic formula. Sonic Generations experimented with the original gameplay style to much success, to the point where Sonic Forces will be bringing back Classic Sonic later this year.

But those games were strictly in 3D, and the main appeal was in playing a Sonic the Hedgehog game that mimicked the Genesis years, yet also provided plenty of Modern Sonic levels to play around with and explore. At the end of the day, Sonic Generations was another attempt by Sega to change up the Sonic formula while sticking to the 3D universe. Even if it was a solid attempt, it wasn't quite the same.

Sonic Mania's Developers Did Their Homework

[Source: Sega]
[Source: Sega]

But Sonic Mania is different. Mania is a game built entirely around experiencing the original '90s games all over again. And that desire to capture and recreate the original Genesis years can be seen in various little details.

You can see that in the way Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are animated, which feels similar to the sprites seen throughout the first few Sonic games. Sonic Mania's special events also mimic Sonic 3's, where Knuckles would suddenly appear and mess up your day, or one of Robotnik's goons would set fire to Angel Island. And the platforming segments are high-speed yet tricky: it's clear you need good hand-eye coordination to speed through the game.

It's not even the gameplay itself. Just look at the trailer's animation style. Look familiar? It's like Sega rewatched the Sonic CD opening intro and recreated that same look for the trailer. In short, it's incredibly nostalgic.

What's all this info telling us? Sonic Mania comes from a dedicated team that's been studying the original Genesis releases for awhile now. The team has been figuring out what makes those games great and what parts transfer well into the 21st century. And as any Sonic fan will tell you, that's pretty important: the original releases are some of the best around. Just ask any Sonic fan who has recently played Sonic CD or Sonic & Knuckles. They'll let you know first-hand.

So yes. While some cynicism is always great during pre-order season, it seems Sonic Mania is made up of some of the best ingredients necessary to make a solid 2D Sonic game. Let's keep our fingers crossed the gameplay feels just as great as it looks.

Will you be picking up Sonic Mania? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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