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5/5. SEGA’s Sonic Mania Plus is a great return to form for the Sonic series, paying homage to the original 2D Sonic platform games but still providing a well-polished modern experience. My name is Xander, I am in grade 11, and this is my review.

Sonic Mania sees Dr. Eggman discovering the Phantom Ruby, a gem capable of warping reality, on the floating Angel Island. Wanting to utilize the ruby for his machines, Eggman sends his elite team of robots to find it. Of course, the plan goes awry when Sonic, Tails and Knuckles confront the robots and the ruby is activated. Now the trio must stop Dr. Eggman through familiar levels from past Sonic games as well as travelling through brand new locations.

While the main game is somewhat short compared to modern games, the game’s length is extended by the high degree of replayability for each level. The three main characters have unique gameplay mechanics that make for different experiences when progressing through the same levels. Each character has different paths to explore and sometimes completely unique sections of levels that only they can access.

The art of Sonic Mania is very colourful, with detailed character and environmental animations making for a visual feast.  The controls are precise and offer a fast and smooth experience for each of the characters, hearkening back to Sonic 16-bit roots but with modern sensibilities. The music in Sonic Mania completes the package, including excellent remixes of iconic Sonic tunes as well as new original tracks.

Outside of the main game, there are other game modes such as Time Attack, testing how fast you can race through the levels, and the multiplayer Competition Mode where you can play with friends and family in split-screen.

The base package of Sonic Mania is already fantastic, but the later released “Plus” DLC (included here) further expands the game. A new Encore Mode is added, where you explore remixed versions of the levels with new visuals and level design. Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel are added as new playable characters with unique animations and distinct gameplay mechanics. There is also the inclusion of four-players in the Competition mode as well as some additional cutscenes and gameplay tweaks.

With stunning visuals, memorable music, a vast amount of content, and an easy pick-up-and-play design, Sonic Mania Plus is a love letter to Sonic’s history for the longtime fans of Sonic the Hedgehog and new fans alike.  This is absolutely one of the best modern Sonic games to come out of Sega and is hopefully a sign of a return to his 16-bit roots.


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