Last year Sonic The Hedgehog has blown out its first twenty-five candles, but the fans took home the birthday present: for the occasion, SEGA has produced two titles dedicated to the fastest blue hedgehog in the world, Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania. The latter was greeted with trumpet blasts and drum rolls, revealing itself to be one of the best 2D chapters of the entire series: solid, deep, with an exquisitely retro flavor, but at the same time also capable of looking to the future and coming to terms with the needs of modern day gameplay. Exactly one year later, Sonic Mania Plus try to bring the spotlight back to itself: it is back with a substantial dose of news, and is ready to debut once again on all consoles. Is it worth returning to Sonic's company? It is a rhetorical question.
Even more varied gameplay: Mighty and Ray arrive
Sonic Mania Plus is not simply the updated, revised and corrected version of last year's title: it includes all the patches and corrective updates made by the developers in the last eleven months, but above all contents that make it a 2.0 version in effect. Let's start with a detail that will surely delight collectors and lovers of retail versions: Sonic Mania Plus will be available in stores in physical format, with a nice special edition that will include a 32-page artbook, a holographic cover, and even an alternate cover that reimagines the title as if it had been released on SEGA Mega Drive; all at a price that seems honest to us, around 30 Euros. And all those who have already purchased Sonic Mania last year, how will they happen to the bonus content of the new edition? By purchasing separately and at a reduced price a special DLC Plus, available on launch day on all major platforms.
Those who have not had the pleasure of completing Sonic Mania last year will find themselves in a perfect situation: buying Sonic Mania Plus will have everything they could want themed Sonic 2D, without having to think too much about basic packages, expansions and the possible repurchase of a physical version after having already got my hands on the digital one last summer. If anything, the problem arises for those who Sonic Mania has already duly completed and examined it: is it worth going back to after about eleven months, in the face of the new introductions? The answer is yes, because here it is not a question of a couple of additional levels, but of an alternative revisiting operation that invests all game modes, also adding new ones. For starters, in addition to Sonic, Knuckles and Tales, Sonic Mania Plus also introduces two others new characters not seen in a while: Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel, directly from Sonic the Hedgehog even before Sonic Generations. Don't even think about calling them simple reskins of Knuckles and Tales, because their abilities are completely different and allow you to experience the main adventure in a completely new way: Mighty is a super-armored armadillo, with its special ability Hammer Drop can destroy some elements in the levels (you will recognize them by different color) and resist a blow from the sharp spikes without losing the rings, just take a good jump and then run the jump command again to crash to the ground; even more technical is Ray's ability, which allows him to glide up or down for a certain distance, reaching certain positions otherwise out of reach for the other characters, or even brake at the right time to avoid crashing against dangerous obstacles. In the company of Mighty and Ray, the adventure of Sonic Mania Plus takes on a completely new face, especially thanks to the Bis Mode.
PlayStation 4 Trophies
Sonic Mania Plus seems to share the exact same Trophy list as its predecessor - a shame, considering that PS4 game updates usually have a roster with new unlockable achievements aside, able to enhance the new additions. A wasted opportunity also to add the Platinum Trophy, a big absent for an important Sonic game: the other trophies present will still require a certain amount of skill and patience. Completing the Story Mode will be the first step, then you will have to devote yourself to finding some hidden places of the various levels, conquering all the Chaos Emeralds and obtaining the Gold and Silver medals of the bonus modes.
Let's do the encore: plot and game modes
Two new characters and a physical edition are welcome additions, but for a plus version of Sonic Mania, more is needed. SEGA has thought about this, and here it is Bis mode allows us to relive the plot of Sonic Mania in a completely new perspective, starting where it all began: just under the heading dedicated to the main Story Mode, the Bis Mode now appears, where we do not immediately experience the events related to Green Hill Zone and to Dr. Eggman's new floor, but we end up catapulted by the power of the Chaos Emeralds directly to Angels Island Zone. Do you remember this level? It already appeared in Sonic The Hedgehog 3, but like all the others present in Sonic Mania Plus it has been visibly revised, updated and enhanced, both in the artistic style and from the point of view of fluidity, just like all the other levels of the title, able at the same time to make the joy of those who in his time grew up with the first chapters of the series, but also of the admirers of retro games partially contaminated by modern times.
In Angels Island Zone Sonic discovers that Mighty and Ray have been taken prisoner, frees them, and from there the whole main story mode starts again, but modified in some details of the level design, which honor the new abilities of the protagonists: we can in fact bring with we two characters at a time, and exploit the full potential of the armadillo and the flying squirrel. If we have Mighty with us, for example, once we return to Green Hill Zone we will notice not only changes in the time of day, but also in the new presence of small alternative paths and destructible elements with its Hammer Drop. In short: encore of the story mode, encore of playable characters, encore of boss fights, and we must at least mention the new Competitive Mode, which allows four players to compete simultaneously within certain levels: the goal is to reach the finish line as soon as possible, but also to accumulate more points than the other participants: a further stimulus to the possibilities and longevity of Sonic Mania Plus
CommentTested version PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery Steam, PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop Price 29,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
Sonic Mania Plus is the definitive edition of Sonic Mania: a recommended purchase both for those who a year ago skipped (badly!) What has officially become the basic version of the game, and for those who have already completely gutted it, and it is remained fervently hungry for news. The wait has paid off: at an honest price you can add two new characters, new game levels, the ability to relive the main adventure in a new perspective, and the competitive mode for up to 2 players. Then if you sling on the retail edition there is also the illustrated artbook and a case that cannot be missed by fans of the blue hedgehog.
- New characters with very interesting skills
- The adventure begins again, with the necessary changes
- New competitive game mode
- Some really new level wouldn't have hurt ...
- ... as well as the presence of new bosses
- We would have preferred to have a complete edition right away