In my original post on my favourite games of 2017 I listed Elex as one of my favourites. There are several reasons for this, partly it was fresh in my mind having recently received it. That said it has a lot of flaws and I feel like I haven’t really played it enough to truly give an informed impression of the game. So I’d like to offer up an alternative game in its place.
Sonic Mania (Nintendo Switch)
I absolutely loved Sonic growing up. I had all of the games on the Mega Drive and Game Gear and played them for years! When the world moved to 3D gaming I lost track of Sonic a bit as I moved more towards Nintendo and Sony for console gaming so I didn’t really pick a new Sonic up until the re-release of Sonic Adventure on the Gamecube and what a disappointment! I’d recently bought Sonic 4 on Steam in a sale and was still pretty disappointed but could see that while it was technically a 2D Sonic game it was influenced more by the 3D games than the classics. So when I heard they were releasing a new classic-style 2D Sonic game I was cautiously excited.
I have to say the reason it slipped my mind is the fact that it’s a digital download on my Switch and when coming up with ideas for games I’d really liked I’d looked through my Steam library and the cases for my Switch games and completely missed the only purely digital Switch game I had.
Sonic Mania is a project envisioned by die-hard Sonic fans and it really shows, from re-imagined classic levels with a twist such as Sonic 3’s Hydrocity Zone and Sonic 2’s Chemical Plant Zone to some of the original levels it really feels like a good old Sonic game.
I have to admit to finding some of the new levels less fun though I really think that might be down to how interesting I found the twists on the classic levels. I also haven’t replayed the game yet and as such haven’t built the same memory of routes as I had from years of childhood repetition with the classic levels so maybe on replay I will develop a similar level of fondness for the new levels too. My favourite of the new levels was probably Stardust Speedway Zone, a level I felt nodded to some of my favourites from the first three Mega Drive classics whilst coming off as completely new.
Overall Sonic Mania is a solid Sonic game and a return to the golden 16 bit era of 2D platforming games and with a release on all major platforms including PC there’s no reason you can’t play it if you haven’t already.