The Japanese video game developer Sega has finally unveiled the final release date for its retro platformer Sonic Mania, which is coming to the PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A remixed version of the “Flying Battery Zone” stage, which debuted in Sonic & Knuckles in 1994, will also appear in Sonic Mania as well.
Why Sega delayed the game
In February, there were reports that Sega was planning a panel for SXSW 2017 which would feature the popular classic collection Sonic Mania, and the then-untitled Project Sonic 2017. Sega, which was present at SXSW 2017, followed through on its promise, but its announcement got mixed responses from gamers.
The first announcement that the spring release date for Sonic Mania was delayed into the summer disappointed fans who were looking forward to playing classic Sonic games on PCs and modern consoles. The delay was attributed to Sega’s focus on quality, according to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka.
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In a statement at that time, Iizuka said, “Though we like to go fast, sometimes, for a great game, you must also wait.”
To cheer up fans, the gaming company also unveiled Sonic Forces as the official title for Project Sonic 2017. The game was first announced in the middle of last year. In the teaser, Sonic could be seen sprinting through ruins in a world taken over by robots. The teaser also invites players to “join the resistance” once the title is released for the holiday season. Sonic Forces will also be released for the Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, and it will be running on a new engine called The Hedgehog Engine 2, notes TechTimes.
Sonic Mania fans have something to cheer for now
Sonic Mania fans have been anxiously waiting for the first 2D game for a long time. The game developer announced that the digital edition of the game will be launched on August 15 for PCs and consoles with a price tag of $20. Along with the launch date and price, the Japanese company also revealed the preorder bonuses. Gamers who preorder the game will receive several perks, including discounts and additional content like bonus avatars and themes.
Sonic Mania is bringing back the 2D side-scrolling gameplay that was first seen in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game that was released for the Sega Genesis in 1991. The game features 16 reworked stages with boss fights, new moves and new levels. Gamers will also be able to play as Sonic’s loyal sidekicks, Knuckles and Tails, on all stages, which run at 60 frames per second, notes TechTimes.
For hardcore Sonic fans, there will be a Sonic Mania collector’s edition priced at $69.99. It can be preordered through various retail channels. The collector’s edition includes a 12-inch statue of Sonic standing on a Sega Genesis platform, a metallic collector’s card with a download key for the game and a Sega cartridge cast with a golden ring. Above all, according to TechTimes, the collector’s edition comes in an oversized box that looks similar – in terms of packaging – to Sonic games from the past.