April 6-7, 2024
Written by Cristian Stanic
Sonic Mania is basically the perfect Sonic game, that’s pretty much indisputable at that point (we still rate Sonic Generations there too because you get great 2D Sonic levels and awesome Modern Sonic sections too). But if you’re not a fan of 3D Modern Sonic and have been wishing for 2D Sonic to come back, we don’t even have to tell you how great this game is, because you’ve probably been playing it non-stop for the past year.
So, knowing that the base version of Sonic Mania is so amazing, we must ask the question; is Sonic Mania Plus, 2018’s re-release with extra content and shiny packaging, worth getting? Well, yes and no, for different reasons, and we’ll tell you why. If you were one of the few people who wanted to play Sonic Mania when it came out last year, but for whatever reason, you never ended up picking it up, absolutely get Sonic Mania Plus. For around the same price, you’re going to get a very fancy shiny box and a reversible SEGA Mega Drive cover for the packet.
You get a small artbook as well from the development process with some concept art, but compared to what other games offer in their respective artbooks, which sometimes have bucketloads of sketches and character designs and background art, etc. it’s a bit of a letdown. We would happily forego the artbook being included in this package, if it meant a really massive one, like the Assassin’s Creed or Devil May Cry ones, being released separately further down the line.
As for the new content this edition offers, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel are fun characters to play as who both offer enough gameplay variety to make each level a new experience when playing with them. Encore Mode is a fun novelty, but the enjoyment wears off quickly.
It’s not really conducive to pulling off awesome speed runs, and swapping quickly can be a bit frustrating. We found ourselves going back to Mania Mode again because of just how solid and fun it is. Competition Mode, on the other hand, is pretty neat. Races with friends are a good time, we couldn’t get enough of it, but without much variety in terms of gameplay objectives, we can see it eventually getting stale.
On the flip side, if you already own the original Sonic Mania, you’d probably be better off purchasing the DLC if you really want Mighty, Ray, and multiplayer without much variety, but otherwise, you could probably even give this update a miss.
We’ll still be chucking Sonic Mania in for another go around of Time Attack though, and if you’re as in love with this game as we are, maybe now’s a good time to sit back and enjoy one of Sonic’s best outings again. When you’re done with that, definitely watch the Sonic Mania Adventures on Sonic’s YouTube channel, too:
The animation is done by the same team who did the amazing opening cutscene for the game, and it is still just as gorgeous. They’re really funny shorts and they only take a few minutes to finish, you’re missing out if you don’t.
Sonic Mania Plus is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.