Oh man, not only is SEGA tapping into classic 16-bit graphics for Sonic Mania, it’s also reaching out and grabbing inspiration for the music in all the right places. The most recent tune revealed in the upcoming game is for the Studiopolis Zone, and it sounds like it could have been pulled straight from the classic Genesis series.
And while I admit that I miss the unique capabilities of the SEGA Genesis’ sound chip, this fully composed track proves that nostalgia isn’t the only way to go. The theme finds the best of both the modern world and the classic beats of Japanese 90s soundtracks for the best possible combination.
The funny thing is that classic, rebellious SEGA games aren’t the only ones that pop to mind when I hear this. Breath of Fire III, a JRPG from Capcom, also used similar jazzy tunes to give its ruined world some life. The late 90s was a time when soundtracks were just as cutting edge as the games themselves. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is another example of this trend, and the Persona series keeps that movement alive to this day.
Sonic Mania will be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch on Aug. 15.