Everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog is back with more content than ever before in Sonic Mania Plus, but does this help or hinder the overall experience?
Last year, when Sonic Mania boomed onto the market, it was highly praised by both fans and critics. Fast forward a few months, and the blue blur is back with even more content in Sonic Mania Plus. This expanded version of last year’s release adds new playable characters and updates to several levels – offering a new challenge for Mania veterans.
For those not familiar with Sonic Mania, it is essentially an old-school Sonic game that pays tribute to the Sega Genesis titles that made the hedgehog a household name. Many of the game’s levels are either remakes of old areas, like the Green Hill Zone and the Chemical Plant, or they’re inspired by several classic level themes, like underwater areas and an airship. Levels also feature both classic boss battles, as well as some brand-new bosses to challenge.
The most enjoyable experience with Sonic Mania Plus was with Encore Mode – which allows players to collect all the playable characters in the game and switch between the two paired up on the screen at any given time. If the character being played is killed, then a member from the reserve roster will be called in to replace them until all characters have kicked the bucket, at which point the player loses the level.
If someone were trying to prove that there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, they could use Sonic Mania Plus as an example to back up their case. But this doesn’t mean the game is perfect. The friends have to be physically present to play challenge mode; and Encore Mode’s Sonic Spinball-inspired bonus levels lack polish.
Overall, Sonic Mania Plus (on all platforms) cranks the original game up to a new level with fresh content, and is a must-play for all fans of the original 2D platformers.