Sonic Mania is less than 15 days away and fans are still being teased about the games content. Today, august 3rd, the official Sonic The Hedgehog Channel released a video demonstrating the new special stages. However, it would seem that two types exist within the game. One which resembles a cross between Sonic R & Sonic CD’s classic UFO destruction special stages and another which brings back Sonic 3 & Knuckles sphere collection special stages.
Catch The UFO
- The special stage type seems to involve Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles collecting Golden Rings and Blue Spheres to increase their movement speed (similar to maybe even Sonic Hero’s Special Stages) to catch up to a UFO carrying a Chaos Emerald. (Can be seen in the trailer here)
Collect The Blue Spheres
- The returning special stage type was present in the titles Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. The objective is to collect all blue spheres, rings give you continuations, without hitting the red spheres. As soon as you hit a single red sphere the game ends.
Personally, I’m excited to see the new special stage typeBelow I will detail some of the similarities between old and new, I find that Sonic Mania is blending a ton of great old ideas with its own fresh take
Sonic 1 | Classic References in Sonic Mania
Sonic Mania even has some references in their special stages to previous entries, below is an example of a throw back to the first Sonic game. Notice the fish in the background, in the similar design to the first special stage.
Sonic CD | Catch the UFO vs Destroy the UFOs
Sonic CD’s special stages required sonic to accurately traverse a ever changing terrain of bumpers, spikes, deep water, and other obstacles to close the distance and destroy floating UFOs. Sonic Mania’s mode reminds me a bit of Sonic Hero’s in that you collect orbs or spheres to increase Sonic’s base speed so that he can catch up to the UFO holding the chaos emerald.
Sonic 3 | Get Blue Spheres In Sonic Mania
Sonic 3’s special stages, by far, are my favorite in the series. I spent hours memorizing these stages as a kid, to the point I have little difficulty completing many of them. I’m really glad to see that these are making a return. Just hearing the remixed music in the trailer gave me nostalgic chills of joy.
Sonic R | Get Blue Spheres In Sonic Mania
I noticed that Sonic R seems to have gotten a nod as Sonic’s 3D model looks extremely SEGA Saturn-esque, while making sharp turns the characters seem to drift in the same manner that they did in Sonic R.
Sonic Mania Looks Incredible, can’t wait to get my hands on it
Sonic Mania looks to be a labor of love. The game got delayed and I can only assume it was to add even more modes and surprises for long time fans. I’m really excited for this release and can sincerely hope the world shares my enthusiasm for the upcoming title. I hope going forward SEGA can continue to produce quality Sonic titles, be it 2D or 3D.