The internet is in love with SEGA’s Sonic Mania with the game seemingly getting the once-beloved series back to its 16-bit roots. However, the game has yet to prove that it can extend its praise beyond the limited niche of us “old” 2D Sonic the Hedgehog fans.
SEGA knows the expectations are there, and it is taking a cautious approach to how it will treat the series from here on out. Is Sonic destined to be a 2D series for the rest of his days, or will we take him back into the age of forgettable-to-decent 3D platformers? Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka says that it all depends on how the game performs both critically and financially.
In the past two decades Sonic games have been trying to target a broader audience from kids to adults. And Forces has that same idea, so that means a wider range of characters that we know children like. Even if other fans may not be quite as keen.
But for Mania it’s kind of like a new approach. To target specifically 2D fans. So we don’t know whether it’ll be accepted positively in the market. We’ll find out after the game’s released, and we can figure out the direction of future titles after seeing the reaction.
I’m not so sure how I would feel about Sonic Mania being a permanent thing. Sonic Mania is great, and the nostalgic feelings behind it are solid. However, I don’t believe that it could be a thing year after year after year. Mega Man 9 was a great game, but Mega Man 10, while fun, lost a lot of its luster.
Whether or not SEGA chooses to continue, let’s just appreciate that Sonic Mania looks amazing, and it is coming to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on Aug. 15.