Remember the days when Sonic games were good? No? Then maybe you should try Sonic Mania.
It’s no secret that a number of Sonic games after the original were… mediocre at best. There was a time when people would compare Sonic and Mario games and put them on the same level. That changed of course as Sega continued to produce Sonic games that never lived up to fans’ expectations.
However, that all changed with Sonic Mania which released last year. Sega basically handed the franchise to some developers who were also Sonic fans. And boy did they do a fantastic job. Sonic went back to its roots – 2D platforming, fun and exciting gameplay, and a very classic feel.
Sonic Mania garnered positive reviews and even brought back some old fans. Although it only featured 3 characters – Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails – it was still a very solid experience. The animations were fantastic, there were new gameplay elements, and it was simply fun (which is something that we haven’t experienced in a Sonic game for quite a while).
Sonic Mania Plus is the next step for Sonic Mania. It’s more of a DLC than an actual game since it still features most of the original levels and characters. It adds to that original experience in all the right ways.
To start, Sonic Mania Plus introduces two more playable characters: Mighty and Ray. At a glance, the addition of two new characters doesn’t sound too interesting, but after playing through the game with these two, I feel that they definitely enhance the original experience. Not only do the characters add new gameplay elements like Mighty having a ground smash or Ray being able to glide, but these new powers allow for new areas in levels to be unlocked.
Another cool addition to the game is the Encore mode which is a post-game mode that allows players to play through previously visited zones but with new gameplay rules. There are new paths that each of the characters can get to with their abilities. This pushes players to try to experience old zones again but in a completely new way.
The game also feels less punishing now that you can have two characters in the same level in encore mode, allowing you to switch to the second character in case your primary one dies. Unfortunately, boss fights remain as tough as ever. Some of the boss fights from the original game seem to drag on and can be very annoying to replay after dying. It made me wish there were checkpoints for some of the bosses but it’s hard for me to say that a boss experience with checkpoints would feel very robust.
It’s important to realize that Sonic Mania Plus isn’t a brand new game. It is a great addition to an already fantastic game. If you didn’t buy the original game but would like to experience it now, Sonic Mania Plus is a great buy. The physical edition not only has its own gorgeous holographic cover but also comes with a reversible Sega Genesis cover for those who are interested. If you already purchased the original game and don’t want to pay $30 for Sonic Mania Plus, you can purchase the $5 Encore DLC which packs everything that you’ll get with Mania Plus. Either way, the experience is one that should have Sonic fans smiling for days.
Sonic Mania Plus Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Sonic Mania Plus is an expanded version of Sonic Mania. It was released in July 2018 both physically for the Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and as downloadable content to digital copies of the original game for all platforms.
Not only this is a great Sonic game made even better with the new 'Plus' expansion, it also comes packaged in with a physical version that might as well be a collector's item with the efforts spent on it to make it resemble the classic Sonic games on Sega Genesis.