User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 605 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 605
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  1. Oct 17, 2017
    7
    When I got back to being a big console gaming geek around 2009, one of my cravings was to see just how Sonic was doing. I used to be a fan during the Master System days, but I knew from word of mouth that his games had taken a dive in quality (which yeah, was true). Sonic Mania, then, is a return to form of sorts; although it's fair to question just what kind of a form that one was toWhen I got back to being a big console gaming geek around 2009, one of my cravings was to see just how Sonic was doing. I used to be a fan during the Master System days, but I knew from word of mouth that his games had taken a dive in quality (which yeah, was true). Sonic Mania, then, is a return to form of sorts; although it's fair to question just what kind of a form that one was to being with.

    You see, Sonic Mania is pretty much a fan game. It's made by fans who have made a name for themselves by developing unofficial titles for Sega's mascot, and who obviously have a lot of passion for the franchise. In that regard, Sonic Mania succeeds where many other Sonic games have failed, in that it pretty much feels like a long lost sequel to the Mega Drive series. There are a lot of new and returning zones, and, most importantly, new and returning ideas that mostly feel fun and do justice to the best moments in the hedgehog's existence.

    The thing is (and for that I apologize to eight-year-old me), the original Sonic games had some pretty egregious level design flaws. They were games that had to focus on speed by virtue of just who the main character was, but at the same were at their best when they focused on exploration and the hunt for the elusive chaos emeralds. This led to some pretty schizophrenic levels, which constantly propelled you full steam ahead while luring you with secrets and alternate paths that could only be enjoyed by stopping and carefully acessing your whereabouts.

    As fun as midlessly running around can be, the completionist in me has a huge pet peeve with this approach, especially since you have to find all chaos emeralds if you want to see the true ending (the 'bad' ending for Sonic 2 on the Master System left my young self preeeeeeetty traumatized, let's just leave it at that). As such, my playthrough of Sonic Mania was an experience that got extremely fun at times, but also often felt uncomfortable in its gameplay non-sequiturs.

    TL;DR:
    Sonic Mania is pretty much the sequel to Sonic 3 we never truly got, complete with beautiful 16-bit graphics, catchy tunes, and (yes) weird level design. It should be a blast for fans of the original games, as it follows them to a tee, adding fun new ideas on top. It should be said, however, that the tension between speeding ahead and stopping to explore doesn't do the game any favors, even if ultimately this is a lovingly crafted (and at times loads of fun) homage to the hedgehog's origins.

    Rating: 7.0
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  2. Aug 15, 2017
    7
    Sonic Mania checks off all the boxes you'd expect from a 2D platformer these days: great controls, good level design, gorgeous environments, awesome music, solid framerate etc. It's really a great game.

    HOWEVER. Sonic newbies beware. As someone who has never played a 2D Sonic game in his life, my first playthrough can only be described as a miserable experience. The game only gives
    Sonic Mania checks off all the boxes you'd expect from a 2D platformer these days: great controls, good level design, gorgeous environments, awesome music, solid framerate etc. It's really a great game.

    HOWEVER. Sonic newbies beware.

    As someone who has never played a 2D Sonic game in his life, my first playthrough can only be described as a miserable experience. The game only gives you 3 lives after every game over, and expects you to make it through an entire zone - existing of 2 levels and 2 boss battles - with those. I've had a game over in almost every zone, and essentially had to play every level twice (one zone in particular even three times). It's not that this game is ridiculously difficult or unfair, but that can still get pretty frustrating.

    I'm honestly not sure why they thought giving you only 3 lives was a good idea; if I get a game over I'm clearly struggling already, so why give players this extra handicap?

    Fortunately it does get better after that rough first playthrough. As I said, the levels are really great, and there's a lot of fun to be had in all of them, with every character. Just make sure to grab every life monitor you come across.
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  3. Aug 19, 2017
    7
    Sonic Mania
    Even the best 2D sonic game is still a 2d Sonic game
    I’ve dipped my toe in all of the original 2d sonic games and none of them ever grabbed me, they felt like they were lacking any sense of direction After hearing the praise about Sonic Mania and people saying things like if you’re a platforming fan play this but if you’re a sonic fan definitely play this I thought this was
    Sonic Mania
    Even the best 2D sonic game is still a 2d Sonic game
    I’ve dipped my toe in all of the original 2d sonic games and none of them ever grabbed me, they felt like they were lacking any sense of direction
    After hearing the praise about Sonic Mania and people saying things like if you’re a platforming fan play this but if you’re a sonic fan definitely play this
    I thought this was it.. This would be the one…
    I’m actually a fan of a few 3d sonic games so I was excited to finally become a 2d sonic fan... and well…
    It never Happened
    Sonic Mania is a platformer where you play as either sonic, tails, sonic and tails, or knuckles, all with their won perks and unique play styles…
    and you make it through all 13 zones that are split into 2 acts, almost doubling the levels as the 2nd act can look and feel completely different from the first..
    They all have their own unique feel and sound, and while at the end of the day I may not like the gameplay, the look and feel of these levels were my favorite part...
    sonic mania is all about gaining momentum and collecting rings…
    rings act as your life and if you lose them all you have to die and restart from a checkpoint…
    which if you’re a sonic noob like me, will happen a lot
    you know what it’s like to play ice levels in a platforming game, where you’re sliding all over the place?
    This is what playing sonic mania feels like…
    I know this is what sonic is. But just because something is the way it’s supposed to be doesn’t make it good...
    Platforming feels frustrating because this hedgehog slides off platforms extremely easy forcing you to restart an entire section and it happens way too frequently
    speaking of restarting some moments unless I missed something don’t have a fail save, for example I got a fire pick up which caught a platform on fire and I couldn’t figure out how to progress the level, I had to die and restart from a checkpoint losing one of my precious lives
    … if there was one somewhere, that’s on the game for me not being able to find it.. Not me...
    this was only the first level of the game I shouldn’t already be getting hit with things like this
    It shows a lack of direction in the level design which I feel this entire series of 2d games suffers from...
    I’m zipping through levels going in all kinds of directions...
    I never feel a sense of direction or have any sense how deep I am into a level aside from a few more linear feeling levels…
    These levels are short but feel endless because everything inside of its act looks the same and feels like a jumbled mess
    once you make It through act 1 you take on a miniboss and act 2 you take on the main boss
    these bosses being my 2nd favorite part of the game, but do require a little bit of trial and error... Thankfully are right next to checkpoints, but rarely have rings in them to save you...
    And this is where my ultimate frustration comes in with this game…
    There is a game over like it’s the 80s and 90s all over again...
    sure if you clear an entire zone and beat both bosses you have nothing to worry about…
    But no matter what... no matter how deep you get into a level... if you lose all of your lives… you have to play the entire level all over again…
    that means if you’re on the final boss and you’re on your last life.. which again these bosses are very trial and error with no rings to give you the opportunity to get your trialing on…
    and you die… you not only have to redo act 2 and get to the boss again,.. You also have to go back and beat act 1 and its mini boss again...
    an act that you’ve already proven yourself in…
    for what? Just to be annoying?
    Just to waste your time and drain your lives so it happens again?
    Acts themselves feel like full-fledged levels, it’s ridiculous to not give the player a campaign checkpoint at the end of a mini boss or at least a difficulty setting for this, especially to make the game more accessible to people that aren’t sonic vets
    it will never be fun for me to have to replay levels ive beat ever..
    I’ve already proved I can clear that section, let me move on
    there are some cool nods to the entire series here like sonic 3d and a few others that I don’t want to spoil that genuinely made me happy to run into…
    But still sonic mania just couldn’t turn me into a 2D sonic fan,
    This may without a doubt be a masterpiece for a sonic game…
    just don’t ignore that for a sonic game part…
    Overall this 2d sonic game is solid, buts it’s still a 2d sonic game
    slippery gameplay, frustratingly cheap moments, game overs with trial and error bosses, and levels that while beautiful - lack a sense of direction
    I give Sonic Mania
    A 7/10
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  4. Aug 23, 2017
    6
    Game is great at first. Unfortunately you get midway in and it begins devolving into old 80s cheaptricks for difficulty like making you run into enemies and then it goes a step further by being unable to properly restart (Cannot restart with 3 lives, it just punishes you across restarts), and a checkpoint system with no autosaves at all. If you are at a boss of a zone with 200 rings and 1Game is great at first. Unfortunately you get midway in and it begins devolving into old 80s cheaptricks for difficulty like making you run into enemies and then it goes a step further by being unable to properly restart (Cannot restart with 3 lives, it just punishes you across restarts), and a checkpoint system with no autosaves at all. If you are at a boss of a zone with 200 rings and 1 life, resuming the save remove all rings and all progress in the zone but keeps your 1 life...

    By the mid game you reach places like Oil Zone and the boss stages become unreasonable, with the game glitching out where it should be harming Sonic or not, and using screen-effects that are so obstructive you can no longer see the game. It gets worse when it starts having enemies appear on-screen already 1-frame from attacking just so you have no time to react.

    There's a great game in there somewhere, but you get past the great game and end up with a surprising amount of issues faster than expected. This could easily be an 8 or 9 out of 10 in my books based on my first hour or two of it, but by hours 3 and 4 the few issues it has have bogged the game down into complete frustration. If they fix it, it would be so much better but for now...meh.

    And just for a unique up-yours to any of us who got it on the Switch, it has massive delays going to the operating system, and it's literally the only game on the entire system with this massive delay.
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  5. Nov 18, 2017
    7
    Sega takes the example from Capcom, because it also parasitizes on past merits, but unlike Capcom, Sega isn't make stupid collection of old games, they makes collection of levels from old games, but add new and upgrade old levels with bosses and make them more unusual. In general this new game is well forgotten (or vice versa unforgettable, causing nostalgia) and altered old.
  6. Sep 11, 2017
    7
    Tiene problemas que aun no arreglan, no funciona bien con la función de foto, suspender y home aparte el juego se cierra solo después de jugar un par de horas
  7. Jul 12, 2018
    6
    If you genuinely love playing the original Sonic games then you'll love this, but for me almost everything about it is a mixed bag.

    Visually it's good, and the film-themed Studiopolis zone is a standout which rivals the classic levels -- but the rest can be a little rough around the edges aesthetically, and on a fair few occasions, poor visual design caused confusion and negatively
    If you genuinely love playing the original Sonic games then you'll love this, but for me almost everything about it is a mixed bag.

    Visually it's good, and the film-themed Studiopolis zone is a standout which rivals the classic levels -- but the rest can be a little rough around the edges aesthetically, and on a fair few occasions, poor visual design caused confusion and negatively affected the gameplay.

    The music is good -- again, Studiopolis is the standout newcomer. The remixes of classic levels mostly left me cold, though. They generally play it safe and end up as an unhappy compromise between the 8-bit style and more naturalised instrumentation.

    The gameplay... at times there is a great flow to it and it can be really good, but often it really isn't. I was hoping they would take what actually worked in the original Sonic games and refine it, but it's pretty much the same -- which means the good and the bad. There are the same basic contradictions at the heart of the gameplay -- the cramped screen, the frustrating damage and deaths, the inconsistent controls, the long stretches that require no skilled interaction -- you can beat most of this game pretty easily by holding a directional key and jumping, not needing to worry about taking damage because you can just pick up your rings again. Bosses are the same kind of story, with the exception of a handful of clever and entertaining ones.

    I've played some outstandingly focused and well-designed platformers recently (most recently Celeste), and it really shines a light on the design deficiencies of Sonic and Sonic Mania. I believe that somewhere in the Sonic formula is the potential for an excellent game, but I don't think this is it.
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  8. Aug 31, 2017
    7
    Let’s start by saying my first console was a SEGA and my first game was Sonic Pinball. I eventually played other Sonic games afterward. To be honest, I always had a mixed feeling about Sonic games. Even if I find them interesting and usually complete them (few emeralds, not all), but there are a lot of things I do not necessarily like in general (hard to die, too many paths, too fast atLet’s start by saying my first console was a SEGA and my first game was Sonic Pinball. I eventually played other Sonic games afterward. To be honest, I always had a mixed feeling about Sonic games. Even if I find them interesting and usually complete them (few emeralds, not all), but there are a lot of things I do not necessarily like in general (hard to die, too many paths, too fast at times, easy bosses in general even if I liked their styles, hate the blue sphere mini game, etc.).

    When I saw Sonic Mania was coming out, I thought I would give it a chance considering the price was fine by me ($30 Canadian / digital). I feel that 60% of the game was old levels which were re-designed, but not that much. The other 40% was nice, but kind of the same mechanics. A few things were added which I appreciated like the UFO game, the bouncy fluids (switch) and the helix-like structures. I completed the game with 3 emeralds and 15 medals (2 gold).

    This game deserves a 7 or 8 out of 10, but definitely not a 9 or 10 unless it would be a complete new game with new levels and new abilities.
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  9. May 2, 2018
    7
    I made an awful review of this game earlier, giving it extremely low ratings. But I will keep this short and sweet. Sonic Mania has solid gameplay, excellent music, graphics take me to the old sonic games, great animations, and finally sonic charm (the series has been doing horrible lately, with Sonic Forces being the latest disappointment.) But Sonic Mania still has some flaws, too,I made an awful review of this game earlier, giving it extremely low ratings. But I will keep this short and sweet. Sonic Mania has solid gameplay, excellent music, graphics take me to the old sonic games, great animations, and finally sonic charm (the series has been doing horrible lately, with Sonic Forces being the latest disappointment.) But Sonic Mania still has some flaws, too, ignored by nostalgia happy gamers. The Oil Ocean Act 2 boss (and others, but mostly this one), is very cheap. Some controls feel wonky and you'll be slowed to a halt while going fast from an instant - death hazard. Buy.. at your own risk. Dig into it more before you buy. Expand
  10. Jul 4, 2018
    7
    Quand un jeu touche la fibre nostalgique il ne faut pas s'attendre à une révolution. Mais ce qu'il faut admettre c'est qu'il le fait bien ! Si bien que l'on se demande réellement si le titre n'a pas été développé dans les années 90 !

    Ce que j'ai aimé (+) : - Ultra fidèle à ses origines - Des thèmes musicaux accrocheurs - Le plaisir d'antan retrouvé - L'intro animée somptueuse Ce
    Quand un jeu touche la fibre nostalgique il ne faut pas s'attendre à une révolution. Mais ce qu'il faut admettre c'est qu'il le fait bien ! Si bien que l'on se demande réellement si le titre n'a pas été développé dans les années 90 !

    Ce que j'ai aimé (+) :
    - Ultra fidèle à ses origines
    - Des thèmes musicaux accrocheurs
    - Le plaisir d'antan retrouvé
    - L'intro animée somptueuse

    Ce que je n'ai pas aimé (-) :
    - Finalement rien de nouveau
    - La technologie d'aujourd'hui aurait permis un peu de luxure au niveau des animations
    - Des décors un peu trop pauvres

    Vous l'aurez compris, ce Sonic Mania titillera vos souvenirs de jeunesse et vous fera briller les yeux. Une fois redescendu sur terre, vous lui trouverez les mêmes défauts qu'autrefois... mais rassurez-vous, ce titre est un must. A posséder absolument !
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  11. May 24, 2018
    5
    I really don't like Classic Sonic.
    When I heard SEGA was cooking up something new... I could hear Roger Craig Smith's god like voice ready to wrap me in hype.
    guess what happened. I am so mad at SEGA right now for making some third-party developers handle the franchise for a while. TWO YEARS IS ENOUGH. The only reason this isn't a 4 or below is because Hortinus made a Modern Sonic
    I really don't like Classic Sonic.
    When I heard SEGA was cooking up something new... I could hear Roger Craig Smith's god like voice ready to wrap me in hype.

    guess what happened.

    I am so mad at SEGA right now for making some third-party developers handle the franchise for a while. TWO YEARS IS ENOUGH.
    The only reason this isn't a 4 or below is because Hortinus made a Modern Sonic mod. Sadly,
    1. The mod loader don't work.
    2. It has Jason Griffith's voice anyways...
    I think that if SEGA makes another gosh darn Classic game I will cut their heads off.
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  12. Aug 20, 2018
    6
    I want to make something very clear as I leave this review on Sonic Mania.

    I love this game. I think it's a great hearkening back to the days of when Sonic was still in all his 2D glory, and I was one of the few to play almost all of the Sonic originals for the Genesis. I was not fortunate enough to play Sonic CD or any other lesser known 2D titles. I'm giving you that preface to
    I want to make something very clear as I leave this review on Sonic Mania.

    I love this game. I think it's a great hearkening back to the days of when Sonic was still in all his 2D glory, and I was one of the few to play almost all of the Sonic originals for the Genesis. I was not fortunate enough to play Sonic CD or any other lesser known 2D titles.

    I'm giving you that preface to elaborate on why I am giving this game a mixed review.

    I like to think that graphically, Sonic Mania is gloriously old school in every sense you can imagine. Every design feels like a re-polished version of the sprites that many gamers might remember from the original Big Four (Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles.) Stylistically the game stays very consistent and is very pleasing to the eye.

    Sound design? Top notch. While it really tries to create it's own style instead of just using tracks completely similar to the original games, that's absolutely fine. Innovation is never a bad thing. The tracks are catchy and upbeat, no song really feels out of place.

    Now on to the game-play. Oh boy. This is where things get a bit rough.

    Sonic Mania has a surprising mixture of smooth, fast moving action that allows you to speed comfortably through levels with remarkable ease. Most of the time. Some of the more classic levels of the game highly reward high speed antics over low speed calculated movements, while some of the newer or modified older levels encourage player to think carefully before their next movement option.
    This is where the game diverges a bit even from previous levels of the Sonic series. I can personally attest to the fact that you will probably die at least once or twice in this game to fatal obstacles that you won't be able to anticipate until they're already right in your face. I can personally confirm that in one of the levels, I tried to spin dash into an area with some moving platforms. The odd placement of the checkpoint comparable to the moving platforms resulted in my death. Twice. This is despite more cautiously approaching the platform on the second time around, I was still crushed between marginal hit-boxes I could barely see.

    This is the sort of theme you will see a lot of in Sonic Mania. While the bosses and enemies are certainly challenging in their own ways, they are rarely a problem. I can say that sometimes enemies will look as though you have a very slight opening to actually hit and destroy them, only for you to get duped and lose your rings regardless. Frustrating, but acceptable by difficult game standards.

    I want to also make it clear that compared to earlier Sonic games, this one is definitely harder. I have beaten Sonic 1 and 2, which are ironically harder (in my opinion) than Sonic 3. I absolutely breezed through 2 and 3 at least a few times, while Sonic and Knuckles was relatively difficult and I have only ever managed to beat it a couple of times.

    In an apt summary, here is what I think about Sonic Mania. Beautiful, nostalgic, fast paced, frustrating, and at times, infuriating. If you don't mind the occasional anger and seemingly unfair obstacles the game will throw at you, you will have a wonderful time.
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Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Oct 6, 2017
    93
    After nearly 20 years of almost universally horrible games, the 16-bit icon has returned to his former glory and redeemed himself in the eyes of this long-suffering fan. Sonic Mania does a great job of reminding us what made Sonic great in the first place, while also FINALLY bringing the mascot into the modern era. Everything comes together - the music, the stages, the boss fights and the secrets - to form a package that is both appealing to the retro gamer and irresistible to anyone who enjoys a good game of run and jump. Whether on the Nintendo Switch or any other system, Sonic Mania needs to be in your collection yesterday.
  2. Sep 18, 2017
    74
    Sonic Mania is like a greatest hits album that your favourite artist may release, with a few new tracks as a bonus. It has a high level of nostalgia, gloss and polish and will really challenge your skill, reflexes and patience. There's quite a bit to get stuck into, but you may find yourself being frustrated. If you love the little blue chap and relish a challenge, speed along to the e-shop and pick this up.
  3. Edge Magazine
    Sep 14, 2017
    70
    This convincing comeback has been designed for the die-hards - and they haven't been this well served by a Sonic game for ages. [Issue#311, p.118]