Sonic Mania Plus

Sonic Mania Plus release date announced; new content, characters, more!

Sonic Mania created one of the best platforming experiences in all of 2017, as well as one of the most memorable Sonic the Hedgehog titles since his introduction to the new wave of 3D gaming. And after less than a year of release, Mania has officially sold over one million copies worldwide.

To celebrate the milestone and incredible success of the 16-bit revival of everyone’s favourite blue blur, Sega has announced the release of Sonic Mania Plus – a definitive version of the hit 2017 platformer packed with extra exclusives including new playable characters. To help bring in the new announcement Sega has also unveiled a brand new trailer showcasing the new characters and content, which can be seen below.

The new content featured in the upcoming release of Sonic Mania Plus includes:

  • Two new playable characters from the Sonic universe – Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel – both of which debuted in the 1993 Japanese release of SegaSonic the Hedgehog (Arcade).
  • All new Encore mode beefs up the replayability by adding new layouts and new challenges to previous zones and levels throughout Mania.
  • Four player versus modes, as well as ghost time trials, will be added to the competition and time attack modes now allowing you and three of your friends to compete in a unique challenge against one another.
  • If springing for the physical release of Mania Plus, players will receive an exclusive 32-page art book and a unique reversible cover showing off an old-school Sega Mega Drive cover, all included in slick holographic packaging.

Previous owners of Sonic Mania will have the option of downloading the Encore DLC pack upon release of Mania Plus at a generous price tag of £3.99.

[amazon_textlink asin=’B07BTNCVPC’ text=’Sonic Mania Plus’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’geali01-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’b841830a-4cb6-11e8-856a-7d65cb239a64′] is set to hit retailers everywhere on July 17th, 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One and Switch – with the DLC also coming to PC.

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Sega Ages Switch

Sega Ages coming to the Switch; the first 5 titles announced

Starting off on the Sega Saturn as an attempt to bring back the classic Sega Master System, Genesis and arcade games, developed by porting veterans M2, Sega Ages has popped up periodically throughout the illustrious history of gaming.

Sega Ages Switch

However, mostly available solely in Japan these classic titles have been scattered across time in popular classic collections fluttering around on the PlayStation 2 and 3 systems.

Now it’s time for Nintendo to get in on the fun as Sega has officially announced the Sega Ages series is coming to the Nintendo eShop this summer.

Along with the announcement came a reveal of the first 5 games in the lineup to hit the eShop, those being:

  • Phantasy Star – One of the first to do it all, this 1987 RPG was featured on the Sega Master System and took players on an enthralling adventure like never before through the distant galaxy of Algol.
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World – The original rival to Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros., Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a memorable platformer where players assume the role of the young martial artist in a 2D side-scroller punching your way to victory.
  • Thunder Force IV – This classic side-scrolling shmup gives an unrelenting challenge of nostalgic chaos and a wider range of manoeuvrability when compared to its predecessors.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – The blue blur’s debut into the entertainment world, Sonic the Hedgehog marks the start of taking on the challenge of platforming games with the addition of doing so at blistering speeds.
  • Gain Ground – For those asking for a bit more strategy, Gain Ground is the arcade action-strategy game that will have you methodically taking out your foes across several diverse eras – past and future – in world history.

Stay tuned for more on the growing lineup of the rebooted series – Sega Ages – as we draw closer to the eShop release, coming summer 2018.

Breath of the Wild

Sonic and Link team up in funny new Breath of the Wild mod

The modding game community never ceases to amaze in terms of their ambition and scope. The latest is a mod for Breath of the Wild which sees Link ride Sonic as his motorcycle – you can forget the new Master Cycle Zero then.

Check out the funny results here from WilianZilv’s channel:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is expected to scoop the video game of the year, meanwhile the Nintendo Switch has sold far more than many predicted. Sonic hasn’t had a bad year himself either.

On that note: what a year for gaming in general. It’s going to to take a lot for 2018 to beat it.

Sonic Forces spin dashes onto consoles with Bonus Edition in tow

What with nostalgic 2D platformer Sonic Mania’s sudden success in restoring the previously rock-bottom reputation of SEGA’s most prized mascot, earning itself a full 5/5 score from D-pad Joy and an 86% Metacritic average so far, one would’ve hardly blamed the publisher if they’d lounged out on a hedgehog-shaped reclining sofa for the remainder of 2017.

But even if Mania’s development team at PadogaWest Games intends to take a well-earned rest along those lines, that notion evidently hasn’t occurred to SEGA. Quite to the contrary, their game plan is seemingly to keep capitalising on the newfound success of gaming’s most iconic non-Italian protagonist, rolling out another AAA Sonic adventure before year’s end…

Takeaways:

  • Enter Sonic Forces, a current-gen hybrid platformer combining Mania’s side-scrolling escapades with the oft-explosive 3D hijinks for which the franchise has – for better or for worse – become known since its Adventures and Heroes iterations in the late nineties and early noughties.
  • This spiritual successor to 2015’s roundly applauded Sonic Generations will hit Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on November 7th worldwide, launching both in physical and digital form for a healthy reduced RRP of $40 / £30 rather than the usual $60 / £50 price tags most of the autumn’s big-hitters pack.
  • Anyone who pre-orders Forces in its boxed incarnation is in for a pleasant bonus surprise, though. On top of the main campaign, they’ll get Bonus Edition content such as a free themed controller skin and costumes for the title’s third playable hero – a customisable companion to Modern and Classic Sonic – based on classic SEGA characters like Super Monkey Ball’s AiAi and NiGHTS’ eponymous magician.

Make no mistake, launching in November presents SEGA with a huge uphill battle, even if they want to seize upon the substantial goodwill generated by their best Sonic entry in years. Between Call of Duty: WWII, Need for Speed Payback, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon and The Sims 4’s PS4 and Xbox One ports, even the bravest studio might consider moving their release date elsewhere to save face.

There’s an admirable sense of carpe diem bravado about their move, though, and while we sincerely hope the franchise doesn’t once again fall flat on its face – critically or commercially – after finding such rare light at the end of the tunnel this summer, SEGA has just guaranteed that whatever happens, this’ll be an autumn for the industry to remember.

Take a gander at the full offerings of Sonic Forces’ Bonus Edition below. D-pad Joy will stay abreast of all the key news surrounding the project leading up to November 7th.

Sonic Mania Review – A Familiar Rush of 16-Bit Nostalgia (PS4)

The Sonic franchise has grown tiresome and abundantly stale over nearly two decades now, but the series continues to churn its legs, desperate for a break. The latest release from the famed Blue Blur, Sonic Mania, gives longtime fans the title they’ve been waiting for since the 16-bit days. No more clunky and confusing 3D adventure games, and out with the sub-par graphically enhanced, mechanically flawed 2D attempts at revamping the classic feel. Sonic Mania is here, and it delivers.

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The Sonic community shouted valiantly for a rebirth of the tight and responsive 16-bit blue hedgehog, and – though it took awhile – the Sonic the Hedgehog developers finally responded. Using the ingredients that made Sonic the icon he was in the 90s, Sonic porting professional – Christian Whitehead – and developers Headcannon and PagodaWest Games delivered a 2D, side-scrolling title so spot on with the originals, one could easily mistake the new release for a 16-bit Genesis remake.

Speeding through new level designs, obstacles and a variety of branching pathways, Sonic Mania also delivers a few classic levels from the early years of Sonic the Hedgehog. With familiar platforming areas and enemies, these re-visited classics are now extended with tons of new areas to explore, where most new enhancements come when running through the second acts of levels. Completely revamped and re-imagined, new level designs introduce exciting platforming mechanics, surprising new areas, dangerous enemies and tough bosses – all with their own tactical advantages, and disadvantages.

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Special stages make a roaring comeback, starting with the return of the iconic 3D sphere trotting stages from Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, which reward you bronze, silver and gold tokens redeemable for secret unlockables. Introducing a new method of retrieving the precious Chaos Emeralds in the new “Big Ring” stages, players will have to put their skills and reflexes to the test in these new racing-style challenges.

Scattered in hidden areas across all levels, the coveted Big Ring teleports the player to new areas where they’ll be faced with chasing down an alien UFO that’s holding one of seven powerful Chaos Emeralds. Racing around what essentially resembles a small go-kart course, there are obstacles to dodge, rings to collect and more blue spheres to gather as you close in on the alien UFO. With a decreasing timer made up by your ring count, your speed set to a permanent Mach setting based upon your sphere total, and cliffsides, spike balls and shortcuts to keep the player acting quickly and precisely, these new additions keep the challenge of collecting all seven Chaos Emeralds exciting and new.

sonicmania special

Making your way through the nostalgic feel of the old Sonic games, you’ll be able to play as the 3 most recognizable characters – Sonic, Tails (or Sonic and Tails paired together) and Knuckles. Every level contains numerous pathways, loopy-loops, floating platforms, climbable walls, all of the familiar item boxes including the useful standard, fire and lightning shields and tons of hidden areas – in which some are only obtainable by certain characters. Using Knuckles‘ popular glide technique and rock climbing skill, Tails‘ flying technique and Sonic’s famous speed and essential skills, players are sure to find tons of secrets like special items, 1-ups and Big Ring stages.